From December 1st until December 25th, we will journey through the Jesse Tree. Each day will bring a needle pulling thread through the story of Whose we are and who we are becoming.
A standard description of the Jesse Tree is that of an countdown calendar. But this tree grown from root doesn’t count down to a day as much as it adds up to a story. Through ornaments hung and stories recounted, we are reminded of the joy of being storied so stellar.
I love the adornments of the Jesse Tree. The beauty of them is not so much in their design, though they are lovely, but in their simplicity. For among us, they reveal what is within us, what we are of. They retell THE story, as we share how the story has multiplied, manifested and been made majestic since its last telling.
A few years ago, we had a few of our grandies with us for our weekly frolic and forage. This particular night, we wanted to treat them to a dinner out. We loaded up and made our way to the restaurant of choice. There was much wonder as we went. Because… Christmas lights. Each new house was met with multiplied delight from the one before. Gasps and giggles manifested again and again. And then came the comment that arrested me in adoration.
“Oh Marmie, they added houses to the lights and now they are home!” So much yes, little buddy, so much yes!
Home. The standard definition of home is “the place where one lives.” But that is not our standard meaning. The Hebrew word for home is ‘bayit’ and means “house”. When transliterated to ‘bet’ it means “house of.” Bet also serves as a prefix that means “within.”
The pictograph of bet describes the “mark of creation” and tells the story of creation as a home fashioned by the Creator. Home is a sign and wonder of what the Heavens declare: the glory of God revealed in His handiwork, masterpiece or poem (Psalm 19:1). This becomes real when we add our house to the light and reveal home to the world.
David built houses in the City of David and prepared a place for the Ark of God. Jesus pitched His tent in a worn world and became our Tabernacle. The journey of the Jesse Tree reminds that He dwells with us, in our home, as our home, as we prepare a place for Him to dwell forever. A wedding chamber will come from our hearts and hearth.
There are two other meanings from the Hebrew root for home that decorate my heart. ‘Teshuva’ means “to return to the place you belong.” Amazingly, this is also the Hebrew word for “repent or return.” And ‘bayt’ which is the word for “wedding tent or chuppah” with the marvelous meaning of “the place you meet your beloved.”
Stand for a moment, rapt in awe. We don’t stand in a house, but dwell in a home. Homes “of” a much bigger House. Places not meant to be simply inviting, but to invite the return to a place of belonging.
This is a love story we are telling after all. This is not tall tale, but an eternal epic that the many and the masses need to know is unfolding for them, through us. Our choice is laid bare here. Will we brush past or rush through parts or paragraphs or savor every part and parcel of the Eternal made evident?
As I spin each day’s story, I’ll be including a name of Jesus for each one. By no means will this capture each and all of His names. My naming will simply be the ones that most captured me in this season. My heart cry is that naming Him each day will help us gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and dwell deeply in His presence (Psalm 27:4).
If you don’t have Jesse Tree ornaments, no worries! You can still follow along with the stories each day.
I’ve created a playlist with a song for each day. There are 32 songs, one for each day that remains in the year! You can access the playlist on ADVENTuring playlist or via the list below:
The One I Love (Carleigh Conant)
The Lighthouse Keeper (Sam Smith)
Returning (Vineyard Anaheim featuring Jeremy Riddle)
Holy is Your Name (The Many)
Hymn of Surrender (Shane and Shane featuring Davey Flowers)
Make Room (Community Music)
O Come, O Come Emmanuel (for King and Country featuring Need To Breathe)
The Light is Coming (Carleigh Conant)
Isaiah Song (Maverick Music featuring Chandler Moore)
There is Room For You Here (Melanie Penn)
Prepare Him Room (Sovereign Grace Music)
Expectant (MissionSong featuring Kyle MacKillop)
Immanuel (Folk Hymnal)
Signal Fire (Chris Renzema)
Silent Night (Need to Breathe)
Do You Hear (Cloverton)
God Made Low (Sovereign Grace Music)
Here (Kari Jobe)
Face of God (Phil Wickham)
Mary’s Song – Manger Lullaby (One Heart Music – Nick & Mike)
The Carol of Joseph (for King and Country)
What Child is This (Joseph) (Melanie Penn)
Wrap This One Up (Christy Nockels)
Room for Us All (The Many)
The Unbelievable (Sovereign Grace Music)
Come See – Glory Hallelujah (The Messengers)
O Come All Ye faithful (JOHNNYSWIM)
O Come Let Us Adore Him (Maverick City Music featuring Chandler Moore & Jekalyn Carr)
Joy to the World (Jeremy Riddle)
Light of the World – Sing Hallelujah (We The Kingdom)
At Last, The King (The Gray Havens)
Getting Ready (Maverick City Music and UPPERROOM)