Tuesday, January 29, 2008

From the Jesse Tree to the Jesus Tree

During Advent, one of our favorite ways to prepare is through the study of the Old Testament through the use of our Jesse Tree. Last year, I thought it would be so neat if I could find something similar to do during Lent. We do make a Lenten calendar each year, which I will try to share with you soon, but I had been wanting to do just a bit more. Anyhow, I ran across a great kit for a "Jesus Tree."

It was just what I was looking for... welllll... ALMOST!

Like Cheryl, I missed that key little word "kit" and so I thought it would arrive as pictured, all ready to go. Instead, I received a package of felt and a stack of patterns, the day before Ash Wednesday no less, which has been sitting on a shelf in the closet ever since. Well, this past weekend, I pulled out the kit and scissors, and got started!

Our Lenten Bible Study will pick up where our Advent Bible Study left off. Each day during Lent we will read a Bible story from the New Testament about an event or teaching during Jesus' life from His Presentation in the temple to His death and Resurrection. Like our Jesse Tree, we will have a felt symbol to represent each story. Instead of placing them on an evergreen tree like we did in Advent, they will be placed upon a dead, barren branch, also made from felt.

At first, the dead branch symbolizes the barren and lifeless feeling of the Lenten season as we reflect on our own sinfulness and the crucifixion of our Lord. As the season climaxes with Easter, we see the gift Christ gave us through His death and Resurrection. The beauty of that new life is reflected in the way the dead branch has "blossomed" with all the symbols of Christ's life and teachings.

To begin the project, I started with taping the tree pattern to the brown felt. You could use pins as well, but I didn't have any, and I think that the taped edges made cutting the felt much easier!

Next I glued it to the blue felt banner with some spray adhesive. I think tacky glue would have worked even better, but I am out. I still need to press it, and I'm not too happy with the photo--I think it looks better in person--but here is a photo anyway.

Like our Jesse Tree, I plan to hang the banner on the wall. I'm not sure if I will use a dowel and some cord, or just pin it up... It will depend on if I can get back to the craft store in this crazy weather.

**I suppose you could make this on your own, but the patterns came in so handy... In case any of you would like to purchase the kit, I ordered it from Scripture Trees. There phone number is 651-426-2174. Last year, the kit was only $10.00 plus shipping.

As I make the felt symbols I will post pictures and the corresponding bible stories. There will be 47 in all, one for each day starting from Ash Wednesday and ending on Easter Sunday.

In the meantime, I would love to hear what you have planned for Lent!


  1. What a great idea! Maybe we'll do something like this as well (although I'll have to check out the kit!)
    We do a couple things we do for Lent. We make a "footsteps" chart, with a footstep for each day of Lent. We write in feast days, holidays, and mark Sundays with crosses. Then as we travel through Lent, we color a footstep for each day of the journey. I'll post a picture on my blog when we make the poster. We also like to do a modified version of Stations at home, with 13 candles. We start with them all lighted and then extinguish them as we go along, so we end in darkness. This year there's a purple dye project in SOTW, so we're planning on dying some muslin to shroud statues and crosses and maybe some lima beans for "good deed" counters as well.

  2. We've had and used our Scripture Tree for years, we love it!! I'm glad you are doing it too, the kids love all the readings and putting up the symbols, it will be a welcome sight for Lent :)))

  3. I had originally thought we would do all of our usual tradition without adding anything new this year, but you are inspiring me. I don't know if I can do the felt version, but a paper version might be doable on short notice. It might also give me a chance to see if it appealed to my kids enough to make a permanent version next year.

    We already have the Father Lovasik picture Bible. Were you able to find all of the stories in there that related to the symbols?

  4. YES, Matilda! I found ALL the readings in the Picture Bible!!! This will make it fairly easy, having them all in one place. They aren't quite in order, but I will continue to post the pages for each days symbol!

    I too can't help adding to my plans when I start seeing everyone else's! :)

  5. Jessica, God must have led me to your sight.This is the second time I have heard about this. I plan on getting this and finishing it for this Lent and have it all the way for next year. I'm off to a late start this year for Lent. We are doing more masses, rosaries, and the stations, but as a mother I have failed to have something "concrete" for the children to see and remind them of what Lent is all about. Thank you for your inspiration. You have no idea how you have helped me on my joureney in motherehood!

  6. Jessica, I giggled when I read your comment about missing the "kit" idea and maybe in hindsight I could've saved you the shock as I posted this kit on my blog last year (http://goeasttheysaid.blogspot.com/2008/03/our-lenten-season-my-personal-thoughts.html). I want to thank you for posting the photos of the finished project and all those readings! You are going to be a tremendous blessing to many with all those on your sidebars and I know for my own grandchildren, my marrieds are coming to you for them and it's one less thing I have to do...LOL Thank you, thank you for lessening my own to-do list to get those out to the grandbabes. :-) You are fabulous! I hope you will snap many photos of your Lenten journey with this kit all complete along with your lovely family of course in those pics. Thanks again for all the inspiration. God Bless

  7. Oh!! I did make this kit last year Renee! (This post is from Jan '08, lol!!) This year it was so nice to just pull out the finished tree, the symbols, and all my activity/reading posts from last year. Yay!! =)


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