Countdown to Advent: The Jesse Tree

The story of Jesus brings hope, so do trees that absorb the old air and produce fresh air. So, the use of Jesse trees in our churches and homes tell not only stories of faith, but represent symbols of hope for the world. The tradition of the Jesse Tree dates back to medieval times. The name of the tree refers to the lineage of Jesse, mentioned in Isaiah 11:1: “A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.” In creating a contemporary Jesse tree, one can use symbols from scriptural references and add others that have particular relevance for the local setting.

Learning is most significant if the message is delivered in several different means. If you have a Jesse tree you might also consider:

  • A prayer of dedication for the Jesse tree.

  • Incorporate hymns with the progressive decorating of the trees.

  • Wearing a teaching stole with Jesse tree symbols. Such as the one found at

  • Use the Jesse tree symbols on bulletin covers.

Jesse trees can bring new life to old, old stories in your congregation this Advent!