Last week I was visiting with a friend in her kitchen. As we sipped coffee, I couldn’t help but notice the huge paper tree on the wall behind me.

“What’s that about?” I asked.

“Oh,” she said. “That’s our Jesse Tree.”

Was I supposed to know about this? Was the Jesse Tree an Advent tradition I’d been missing out on all of these years?

She explained that it had to do with the ancestry of Jesus. I didn’t quite understand, so I came home and did a little research of my own.

Ann Voskamp is bringing this Advent exercise to the forefront with her new book, The Greatest Gift. And she does a great job explaining the heart behind this activity in the following prayer:

“When we think about the Jesse Tree, about the genealogy of Jesus’ line and the span of Your breathtaking story, we cannot help but think upon the shoot of miraculous hope that springs up from the despairing stump of our existence. In the midst of barren winter, New Life is budding, a New Spirit is taking root: a spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord. Plow the soil of our hearts, Lord. Break new ground in us.”

For oodles of Jesse Tree goodies, visit:

For FREE downloadable Jesse Tree ornaments, visit:

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