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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Day 1 Jesse Tree/Advent Calendar

This is Day 1 of the 25 days of December that lead up to and include Christmas. One way to celebrate is Advent. Advent is an anticipation of an exciting coming event. The birth of Jesus is such an event. Though, no one knows the exact date of the Messiah. But, December 25 is the date set by a group of Catholic Christians to celebrate Christ's birth. Though no one knows the exact date of his birth, and there is even controversy among some that Christmas should not even be celebrated at all because it was actually a pagan holiday that was reclaimed by the church. Still, the prophecies that surround the birth of Jesus remain pure and can be observed by the practice of The Jesse Tree. The Jesse Tree is based upon prophecies from the Old Testament and how they relate to the New Testament Christ. It is based on the scripture that reads: Isaiah 11:1: "A shoot will spring forth from the stump of Jesse, and a branch out of his roots."

These devotional lessons are a wonderful way to present Biblical history, Jewish heritage, art and reading together in 25 short lessons - One each day leading up to Christmas. It would also be a great topic for unit study lapbook or notebooking activity which develop writing skills.

Today is Day 1 of the Advent Calendar Jesse Tree devotions. The symbol, or ornament, for Day 1 is that of a world. Some devotionals use a dove instead to symbolize peace. Others use a world with a dove hovering above.

The scriptures are Genesis 1:1 - In the beginning was the world & the world was formless; and

John 1:1-4 - And He was with God in the beginning.

The Old and New Testament readings tie each other together by placing Jesus with God in the beginning, even before the world was formed.

Activity: Get some blue and green modeling clay - unformed, have the students form into a ball with the white (clouds) and blue (water) and/or green (land) mixed to form a world of sorts. The students will be able to see a formless piece of clay become the shape of a world. If you bake your creation properly, adding a small hole for hanging string, you can use this as your first ornament on your Jesse Tree.