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When the kids were small we put up a “Jesse Tree” December 1. Each day, we hung a symbol on the tree: a sun for creation; a tree and Adam and Eve; a serpent; Noah’s ark … and so on. And with them, 23 days of readings from the Bible that took us to up to birth of Jesus, the One to whom they all pointed.
As the children grew and left for school, we dropped the practice. Now I miss the reminder that Jesus’s coming was part of God’s plan – and that his coming again is just as sure.
We wait, and sometimes the waiting is hard. We fall in and out of God’s design and sometimes it seems impossible that all shall be well. But “Behold, I am coming soon!” We heard his words at Mass today. “Surely, I am coming soon!” It’s a promise that Jesus repeats three times in Revelation 22.
I need again a daily reminder of that promise, and so I offer here a “grown-up Jesse Tree.” It’s a reading plan for Advent, to help you train your eyes on Jesus’ coming. Download a PDF here, and read along with me:
May you be filled with the joy and hope of expectation as you read!
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If you want to make a set of ornaments for yourself, Michele Quigley offers a free color PDF download of a beautiful set with instructions for making them (and while you’re at it, check out her website—she has other free downloads and sells a gorgeous Catholic liturgical wall calendar and date books, available now for 2015)
The “Tree of Jesse” icon at the top of this post is by Nicholas Papas, located at St. Philip Antiochian Orthodox Church, Souderton, PA.