Prayers and Lessons in the Tradition of the Jesse Tree
Stained glass windows told the story of salvation and of the Scriptures to those who were illiterate, which was the majority in medieval times. Whoever could not read the Scriptures and receive the promises of God through words could experience them through the stories depicted so beautifully on the windows of the churches. This is similar to the purpose of the Jesse Tree, which also has its roots in medieval times. For the season of Advent the faithful would decorate their Christmas trees with symbols from salvation history recorded in the Scriptures. Each day of Advent a new symbol and biblical character would be added as an ornament to the tree as a way of illuminating the promises of God, culminating in the Nativity of his Son.
These spiritual exercises are meant to illumine the promises of God at work within us who believe as we prepare for the gift of Jesus Christ. God’s promises have been fulfilled throughout history in many and exciting ways in the lives of men and woman just like you. Jesse Tree exercises remind us that those promises are also being fulfilled in our own personal histories. These exercises can be a daily ornament to add to the tree of life planted in your heart.