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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Day 2 Jesse Tree Advent Calendar

Most people are aware of Advent - The anticipation of the coming of an exciting event (or Christmas). But, there is an additional way to bring the excitement of the season home and into history of prophesies. 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."

Today is Day 2 of the Advent Calendar Jesse Tree devotions. The symbol, or ornament, for Day 2 is that of an apple.

The scriptures are Genesis 3:1-20, 23 which tells a detailed account of the very first sin;

Isaiah 53:6 - "We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.";

Isaiah 59:2 - "But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear."; and

John 1:8-10 - "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us."

The Old and New Testament readings tie each other together by explaining the beginning of sin and the start of God's redemptive plan. Genesis 3:15 - "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." sets the plot between good vs. evil - Sin vs. Salvation as God speaks to Satan about the coming Messiah whom will later be born of a woman then die to conquer sin and death.

Activity: Though, the Bible does not specify that the forbidden fruit was an apple, this has long been the symbol from the first sin in the Garden of Eden. Possibly a shame to be used since an apple is truly good for us with many health benefits. Today's apple ornament for the Jesse Tree could be made with clay as you did with the ornament of the earth. Or, you could be creative and cut out pieces of red/green felt in the shape of an apple making a simple or complex design. Or, you could make a long-lasting apple cinnamon ornament.

To teach the impact of sin, here is a cute, though messy, lesson experiment on sin and Christ's cleansing power. The web site Answers in Genesis provides a detailed lesson from the prophecy in Genesis 3:15.