Well it certainly does feel that we are well on our way to our special celebration of Christmas now, especially this week which began with a wonderful Service of the Word and Eucharistic led by Deacon Peter and Y5 & Y6 to mark the start of Advent and then our Jesse Tree service in church this morning with Father Paul. Children from all three parish schools had prepared readings and hymns and carols to sing as they decorated the Christmas tree with symbols which help to tell the story of the Bible from Creation to the birth of Jesus on that first Christmas Day. 

The name comes from Jesse who was the Father of the great Jewish King David. One prophecy in the Bible, in the book of Isaiah, says:

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him – the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD – and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. 
Isaiah 11:1-4 (NIV)

A branch is a sign of new life and new beginnings. Jesus was a descendent of King David and Christians believe that Jesus is this new branch. There are very many different stories and symbols you can use, next time you are in church see if you can spot some of these on our tree:

Bible Story: Where it is in the Bible: Symbol:
Creation Genesis 1 The earth
Adam and Eve / 
Garden of Eden
Genesis 2:4 – 3:24 A tree with fruit or an apple
Noah & the Flood Genesis 6:9 – 9:17 A rainbow
God’s promise 
to Abraham
Genesis 12:1-7 & 15:1-6 A tent
Isaac Genesis 22:1-18 A ram
Jacob’s Ladder Genesis 28:10-19 A ladder
Joseph’s Coat Genesis 37 & 50 A multicolored coat or robe
Moses Exodus 2:1 – 4:20 A burning bush
Israelites and 
the Passover
Exodus 12:1-42 A lamb
The 10 Commandments Exodus 19:1 – 20:20 Two stone tablets
Joshua and the 
fall of Jericho
Joshua 6:1-20 A ram’s horn trumpet
Ruth Ruth (Whole Book) A sheaf of corn
King David 1 Samuel 16:1-3 A six pointed ‘Star of David’
Solomon’s Temple 1 Kings 6 The temple
Elijah and 
Baal’s Priests
1 Kings 18:16-39 A bonfire
Isaiah’s ‘Jesse’ 
Prophecy
Isaiah 11:1-11 A tree stump with a single branch 
growing from it
Jonah and the Whale Jonah (Whole Book) A whale
John the Baptist Matthew 3:13-17 A scallop shell
Mary Luke 1:26-38 A white lily
Elizabeth Luke 1:39-56 A mother and child
Zechariah Luke 1:57-80 A pencil and tablet
Joseph Matthew 1:19-25 A carpenter’s hammer
The Shepherds Luke 2:8-20 A fluffy sheep!
The Wisemen Matthew 2:1-12 A gold star or the 
three gifts or three crowns
Jesus Luke 2:1-8 A baby in a manger

‘The altar looked very colourful once the tree was decorated, I thought it was a huge tree but it wasn’t as big as God’s love for us’, said Maria Y3.

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