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Let’s Make a

Jesse Tree Family Worship Guide Advent 2010

First Baptist Church 600 Governors Drive Huntsville, Alabama 256.428.9400

Dear Families with Children, The word Advent means “coming” and refers to the coming of the Christ Child. The Advent Jesse Tree emphasizes His coming in the flesh nearly two thousand years ago. It has been said “The Old Testament conceals what the New Testament reveals.” This Advent Jesse Tree seeks to explain Christ’s fulfillment of the New Covenant by revealing some of the connections of the Old Testament. The Advent Jesse Tree seeks to tell the story of God’s redemptive plan for the world using symbols from the Old and New Testament. The symbols trace the heritage of Jesus Christ from the beginning of creation. Each symbol is explained with scripture, devotion, questions, prayer, memory verses and song. Use the devotions and symbols in this family worship guide for your Advent quiet time. These Family Devotion Resources are designed for use with the Jesse Tree and Symbols available for downloading in PDF format. Take a few minutes on Sunday afternoon to construct your Jesse Tree, so that as part of Family Worship on Monday you may begin to attach your symbols. Many people go to great lengths to prepare for Christmas, yet fail to appreciate the true meaning of the Advent season. “The Advent Jesse Tree” can help you and your family to more completely understand the coming of the Christ. What was the Old Testament concealing? How are so many events and people in these sacred books of the Word tied together? What do they have in common? My prayer is that this Jesse Tree Devotion Guide will be meaningful to you and your family. Please share in the power of the Advent season as day by day we eagerly prepare our hearts and lives for the coming Savior. Blessings to you and yours, Cindy Russell Minister to Children First Baptist Church Huntsville, Alabama 35801 256-428-9411



”Let’s Make a Jess Tree,” Family Worship Guide Jesse Tree Jesse Tree Symbols (on label sheet)

Access to “Let’s Make a Jesse Tree Family Worship Guide Print—Jesse Tree (81/2 x 11) Print—Jesse Tree Symbols (81/2 x 11)


Prior to Sunday, November 28 you will want to print (or pick-up) the Jesse Tree and the Jesse Tree Symbols page. Each day of Advent, you will cut our the designated symbol, color it if desired and stick or paste it onto your Jesse Tree Each day there is a downloadable Family Worship Guide that includes: Advent wreath / candle lighting Memory verse Scripture reading Questions to talk about Prayer Use this guide as best fits your family and the age of your children

Sunday, November 28 First Sunday of Advent—HOPE Light one purple candle. Say: We light this candle to remind us that Jesus came to us as a child in Bethlehem and gave light to the world. He also, is coming again in power to deliver his people. His birth gives us hope for today, and his promised return gives us hope for all eternity. Read: Isaiah 11:1; 11:10 and Romans 15:12-13 Say: I wonder if you have ever heard of a Jesse Tree. The name is taken from the Scriptures we just read. I suppose that you may be familiar with your own family tree, which tells you where your family has come from; your father and his mother and father and their parents and so on. Well the Jesse tree is about the genealogy of Jesus, or Jesus’ family tree. Who was Jesse? He was the father of King David. The gospel writers were very eager to show that Jesus was brought up in a family where his father was descended from the royal line. The New Testament starts with the family tree of Jesus. Christians hung symbols on trees like this for many years. These symbols tell the Biblical history from creation leading up to the birth of Jesus. This has helped us to tell the story of God in the Old Testament. The history of Israel is the history of our faith and Jesus is the promised Messiah. Jesus is the one the foretold in the scriptures. His birth is the fulfillment of God’s promise to his people for a Savior. The Jesse tree helps us to see the continuity of God’s love, patience, and grace across the centuries. Do: Find the symbol of the “stump” and place it on your Jesse Tree. Sing: Once In Royal David’s City Pray: O God of hope, we pray that you will send your light into our hearts at this time. Help us today, and everyday to worship you, to hear your word, and to do your will by sharing your hope with the world. Amen.

Sunday Evening, November 28

“A Missions Mosaic”

We will gather to learn about missions, as we begin the Week of Prayer for missions around the globe. Our church’ World Missions Offering Goal this year is:

$50,000 Come learn about the needs around the world for the Gospel to be shared.

5:00pm Fellowship Hall

Monday, November 29

Light one purple candle. Read: Genesis 1:1; 26-31 and John 1:1-4 Say: At the very beginning there was nothing; no light, no world, no plants or animals, sun, moon or stars. God is the creator of all things. He made the world and everything in it: the air and the water, the plants and the fish and the animals. Did you know that Jesus was there with God when He made the world? (Read John 1:1-4, again) After God created the beautiful earth, God made a man named Adam and a woman named Eve. They lived in a beautiful garden with all the animals. When God looked at all He had created, He thought everything was very good! * What did the world look like in the beginning? * Where was God in the darkness? * Who made the world, Adam and Eve, and everything? Do: Find the symbol of the earth and place it on your Jesse Tree. Sing: Once in Royal David’s City Pray: Creator God, Thank you for making our wonderful world and for making us. We thank You for creating such a beautiful place for us to live. Most of all we thank You for Jesus who was born as a baby so we could know and love You. Amen Memory Verse: In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1 Discuss:

Tuesday, November 30

Light one purple candle. Read: Genesis 3:1-23 & Isaiah 53:6 Say: After God created the perfect world he created people. Today we read about how Adam and Eve chose to disobey God. God had given them everything, and had only asked that they not eat the fruit of one special tree. But Eve and Adam did eat the fruit. The fruit made them understand good from bad, but choosing to disobey God was a wrong choice. Discuss: * What kinds of things do we do that make God unhappy? * How do we know God still loves us, when we make him unhappy? Do: Find the symbol of the apple and snake and place it on your Jesse Tree. Sing: Once in David’s Royal City Pray: Loving God, Thank you for creating Adam and Eve and letting them choose to obey or not. Help us to remember when we make bad choices that you still love us. Amen Memory Verse: All we like sheep have gone astray. Isaiah 53:6

Wednesday, December 1

Light one purple candle. Read: Genesis 6:5-14; 7:17-8:3; 9:8-16 & Jeremiah 31:34b Say: When people make wrong choices (sin), God is sad. There came a time when there were many people who did not love God, and they were doing things God did not want them to do. This made God very unhappy. He decided that he needed to start over with people. There was one man who did love God and did what God wanted. That man was Noah. God told Noah to build an ark. If Noah did as God asked, God would save his entire family. Sure enough, the flood came, and Noah’s family was saved. Do you remember what God used to show Noah He would always keep His promises? God loves us and He keeps His promises. * Why did God tell Noah to build a boat? * Does God keep his promises? Do: Find the ark and rainbow symbol and place them on your Jesse Tree. Sing: Once in Royal David’s City Pray: Forgiving God, We know we do bad things and deserve to be punished. But we are so glad You promised to forgive us. Thank you for the rainbow with its beautiful colors, and thank You that You keep all Your promises. Amen Memory Verse: I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more. Jeremiah 31:34b Discuss:

Thursday, December 2

Light one purple candle. Read: Genesis 12:1-7 Say: God loved Abraham and told him to leave his country and relatives to go to another country that he had never seen before. That’s like going to live in another house, in another city, in another country without ever looking at it. You would really have to trust God, wouldn’t you? That’s what Abraham did. He crossed deserts where there was no water, and his whole family lived in tents. When Abraham got to the land, God promised him that through his family, the entire world would be blessed. God promised Abraham that he would have as many descendants as there are stars. We are glad Abraham obeyed God, because through him, Jesus was born. Discuss: * What did God have Abraham do? * Would you have been afraid to travel to a strange land? * Did Abraham obey? * Because of Abraham’s faith, who did God promise would com from his family? (Jesus) Do: Find the tent and place it on your Jesse Tree. Sing: Once in Royal David’s City Pray: God of promise, Thank You that Abraham had the faith to do what You wanted him to do. Because he obeyed, You blessed him with a new home and many descendants. Help us to obey you and do the things you want us to do. Amen. Memory Verse: In you will all families on earth be blessed. Gen. 12:3

Friday, December 3

Light one purple candle. Read: Genesis 28:10-15 Say: Jacob had not always been a good person. He had done some unkind things, but instead of saying he was sorry, Jacob ran away. He lived away from his family for many years, but now it was time to meet with his brother whom he had lied to and cheated. He had to face up to the things he had done wrong many years before. When Jacob ran away from his family, he may have thought that he was running away from God, too. The night before he was going to see his brother, God spoke to Jacob in a dream. He saw a ladder that reached way up to the sky. Angels were going up and down the ladder and God was standing at the top. God reminded Jacob of promises God had made to Jacob’s father and grandfather, and that those promises were meant for Jacob, too. From Jacob’s family, Jesus would come. Discuss: * Where was Jacob going? * What did he see in his dream? * What did God tell him? Do: Find the ladder and place it on your Jesse Tree. Sing: Once in Royal David’s City Pray: Dear God, Sometimes we feel all alone. Help us to remember that You are always there and will never leave us. Help us to always think of you when we are awake or asleep. Amen Memory Verse: I am with you, and will keep you in all places, wherever you go. Genesis 28:15

Saturday, December 4

Light one purple candle. Read: Genesis 37:1-36, 50:1-21 (This scripture is lengthy; you may choose to open your Bible and tell the story.) & Ephesians 4:32 Say: Sometimes even love cannot protect us from bad things. Joseph was loved very much by his father, Jacob. Jacob had given Joseph a special coat of many colors. His brothers were angry and jealous and hated Joseph because of the dreams he had. In Joseph’s dreams his brothers always served him and bowed down to him. They wanted to kill him but instead, they sold him to some people going to Egypt. This all sounds bad, but God used this for good. Because of Joseph’s gift of understanding dreams he was able to help others. Joseph became a great ruler in Egypt and when his brothers needed help he was able to take care of them. God was with Joseph through everything that happened and God expected him to do good things. Discuss: * Who was given the coat of many colors? * Who gave him the coat? * Did Joseph’s brothers like this? * What did they do? * Did Joseph hurt his brothers when they hurt him? * Who can you forgive today? Do: Find the coat and place it on your Jesse Tree. Sing: Once in Royal David’s City Pray: Dear God of forgiveness, We know you have plans for each of us. Sometimes things happen that hurt us. Help us to know that You can change the bad things into good if we trust You. Help us to be kind even to people who make us angry. Amen. Memory Verse: Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

Sunday, December 5 Second Sunday of Advent - PEACE Light two purple candles. Say: We light this second candle to remind us that Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace, who has come just as God promised. We thank God for the hope we have in Christ, and His peace that is beyond our understanding. Read: Luke 1:26-56 Sing: Once in Royal David’s City Pray: O God of Peace, We pray that you will send your light into our hearts today. Help us prepare ourselves for the peace that you grand up through the giving of your son Jesus. Amen.

Sunday Evening, December 5 Among the joy and busyness of the Christmas season it is easy to miss the entire point of Christmas – Christ himself. Come celebrate with the family of FBC. We will worship through scripture and song, keeping our focus on Christ.

5:00 p.m. Chapel

“A Simple Christmas”

Monday, December 6

Light two purple candles. Read: Exodus 19:20, 20:1-17; Psalm 119:11 & Galatians 3:19 Say: God wants us to be good to each other. God wants us to treat others the way that we want to be treated. To help us understand how to love each other, God gave Moses the Ten Commandments. These rules are still good rules for today and always. Not everybody likes to follow the rules. Some people think rules keep them from having fun. But God gave us the rules as a way of helping us to show God we are thankful for what God has done for us. God wants us to do well, and make good choices. He will help us by guiding us to the right choice. Discuss: * What are the laws called that were given to Moses? * Can you remember one of the rules? * Why does He give us these rules? * What rules help your family to live together and be happy? Do: Find the tablets of law. Place the symbol on your Jesse Tree. Sing: Once in Royal David’s City Pray: God of all things right, Thank you for giving us laws that guide us to do things that please you. We know we will make wrong choices, but with Your love and guidance we will continue to try and keep the laws you have given us. Thank you for sending Jesus to free us from rules. Amen Memory Verse: Your word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11

Tuesday, December 7

Light two purple candles. Read: Ruth 1:15-22, 2:5-17; 4:13-17 Say: Ruth and Naomi had lost all the people they loved. Naomi’s two sons – one of them was Ruth’s husband- had died, and Naomi’s husband had died too. Naomi had been living in Ruth’s country, far from her family, and so Naomi decided to return to Bethlehem. Ruth could have stayed in her own country with her own family, but she chose to go to Bethlehem with Naomi. Naomi was so sad that she thought God had forgotten her. In the days of the Bible, most women couldn’t get jobs and didn’t have money to buy food. Women would go to the fields to gather grain. One day while Ruth was gathering grain she met Boaz, a relative of Naomi’s. Boaz and Ruth married and had a son, and Naomi was happy. She knew that God had not forgotten them, even when she had been sad. Discuss: * Did Ruth love her mother-in-law? * Did she learn to love our God? * Where did she meet Boaz? * Did she marry him? Do: Find the symbol of grain. Place it on your Jesse Tree. Sing: Once in Royal David’s City Pray: Provider God, We thank You for Ruth. She had nothing to give except her love for her family and for You. Help us to give our love to You. Amen Memory Verse: Your people will be my people and your God my God. Ruth 1:16

Wednesday, December 8

Light two purple candles. Read: 1 Samuel 16:1, 13; 17:1-9, 40, 45-50 Say: When David was a boy his job was to look after the sheep of his family. One day the prophet Samuel came to his house looking for the man God would choose to be Israel’s next king. God told Samuel to anoint David as king; so Samuel poured the anointing oil over David’s head. When David was still just a boy, his brothers had gone to fight in Israel’s army. Their father sent David to check on them at the battle site. Let’s read the story in our Bible. (1 Samuel 17:1-9, 40, 45-50) The giant came to fight God’s people, but David wasn’t afraid of him. David knew that God was with him and would take care of him. Later David became a great king because he obeyed God and did the things that pleased God. Discuss: * Who did Samuel pour oil over to be king? * What was David before he was king? * Why was David not afraid of Goliath? Do: Find the symbol of the sling-shot and place it on your Jesse Tree. Sing: Once in Royal David’s City Pray: Dear God, Thank you for the shepherd boy David who became a great king and relative of Jesus. Thank you that David loved You and that he obeyed You. Help us to love You and to always do the things that please you. Amen. Memory Verse: The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want. Psalm 23:1

Thursday, December 9

Light two purple candles. Read: 2 Kings 22:1, 3-6, 10-13; 23:1-3; Psalm 119:105 Say: God is happy when we spend time learning from the Bible. Many years ago the people of Israel “lost” their Scriptures. The kings had been bad and did not read and learn from God’s word. But Josiah was a new king. He wanted to serve God. The temple had not been used in many years and was dirty, so Josiah sent some men to clean the temple. While they were cleaning, they found the lost Scriptures. When Josiah read the scroll he realized that is was God’s Word that had been lost for a long time. He read that God would punish the people if the worshiped idols and not God. The people were sorry for not following Gods laws. They told God that they would serve Him only and follow his law. This pleased God very much! * Who was Josiah? * What was found at the temple? * Why does God want us to read the Bible? Do: Find the symbol of the torah (scroll) and place it on your Jesse Tree. Sing: Come, Lord Jesus, Come Pray: Dear God, Thank You for giving us the Bible with laws for us to live by. Thank You for loving us and wanting the best for us. Help us to read Your Bible and learn to do the things that please you only. Amen Memory Verse: Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105 Discuss:

Friday, December 10

Light two purple candles. Read: 1 Kings 18:16-24, 36-39; Psalm 96:4 Say: The people of God had forgotten to worship God. Instead, they were worshiping a false god named Baal. God sent the prophet Elijah to remind the people about the true God. But the people didn’t want to listen to Elijah. So Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal to show the power of God. The prophets of Baal prepared a sacrifice to their false god. They prayed all day for their false god to send fire to burn their sacrifice. Their false god could do nothing. Finally at the end of the day it was Elijah’s turn. Elijah flooded his sacrifice with water and then prayed to God to send fire. God not only sent fire to burn the sacrifice, but He sent fire to burn up all of the wet wood and even the stones of the altar. The Israelites had forgotten God, but God had not forgotten about them. God still does miracles today, but we need to remember God even if we don’t see miracles. Our God is a great God; we need to praise Him at all times, in everything we do. Discuss: * What did Elijah ask God to do? * Why did God burn up even the stones? * What are some things you can do to praise God? Do: Find the picture of the altar with fire and place it on your Jesse Tree. Sing: Come, Lord Jesus, Come Pray: Dear God, We praise You for you are great and powerful. Thank you for all you have done for us. We ask that you continue to guide us as we try to do what pleases you. Amen Memory Verse: For the LORD, is great and greatly to be praised. Psalm 96:4

Saturday, December 11

Light two purple candles. Read: Jonah 1:1-12, 17; 3:1-5; 1 John 3:20 Say: Jonah was one of God’s prophets. God wanted Jonah to do a special job for Him. He wanted Jonah to go do Nineveh and give them a message. Jonah knew that the people of Nineveh would not like the message, so he ran away. Of course, God knew where Jonah was all the time; no one can run away from God. God was with Jonah when his ship was caught in the storm, and God was with Jonah in the belly of the great fish. God was with Jonah when he finally went to Nineveh to deliver God’s message. We can’t run away from God. God wants us to obey him, but even when we don’t, God is always there waiting for us. God loves us always; everywhere and all the time. Discuss: * What did God want Jonah to do? * Why didn’t Jonah do the job? * Did God ever leave Jonah? * Have you ever tried to hide from God? Do: Find the great fish and place it on your Jesse Tree. Sing: Come, Lord Jesus, Come Pray: Loving God, Thank you for being with us always; for not all owing us to hide from you. Thank you for staying with us and giving us strength to do what you ask. Amen. Memory Verse: God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything. 1 John 3:20

Sunday, December 12 Third Sunday of Advent - JOY Light two purple candles and the pink candle. Say: true in Read: Sing: Pray:

We light the candle of joy to remind us that when Jesus is born in us we have joy. We celebrate God’s gifts of hope, peace, and everlasting joy through faith Jesus. Matthew 2:1-8 and Luke 1:22-38 Once in Royal David’s City O God of Joy, We thank you for the joy you bring us. Help us to focus on the things you have done and those things you have promised to do so that we may have the joy you promised. Amen.

Sunday Evening, December 12 “How Far Is It To Bethlehem?”

Advent Worship led by our Youth and Youth Music Groups; Music from the Youth Choir, Youth Handbells, Youth Band, and newly formed Youth Ensemble

5:00 p.m. Chapel

Monday, December 13

Light two purple candles and the pink candle. Read: Daniel 3:1, 4-6, 12,19-29; Jeremiah 1:8 Say: Once again God’s people did not obey God. This time God punished them by sending them far away from their land. They were slaves in the country of Babylon. While they were in exile the king of Babylon made a new law that all of the people would have to bow down and worship an idol. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego knew this was wrong. They were only to worship the true God. Because they said no, the king threw them all into a fiery furnace. Let’s read from the Bible (Daniel 3:19-29) The king looked into the fiery furnace and saw a fourth person and he was walking around. The fire did not harm them at all. They knew their God would deliver them from the fiery furnace. The king of Babylon began to praise God too. We also know from this story that God will take care of us too. Discuss: * What did the king want the friends to do? * Why would they not do it? * What happened when they said no? * Did God take care of them? Do: Find the picture of the fiery furnace and place it on your Jesse Tree. Sing: Once in Royal David’s City Pray: Dear God, Sometimes we are tempted to do things you would not like. Help us to say no like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Make us strong enough to do what will please you. Amen. Memory Verse: Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you. Jeremiah 1:8

Tuesday, December 14

Light two purple candles and the pink candle. Read: Esther 2:15-18; 3:1-6; 4:12-14; 7:1-7 (Due to the length of this Scripture, you may want to open your Bible and tell the story.); Acts 5:29 Say: Sometimes things don’t make any sense at all, but God is at work in everything that happens. Sometimes later we can understand how things worked out just as God wanted. Esther was a beautiful woman, but she was an Israelite living as a slave. The king of the country was looking for a new queen and held a contest to see who was most beautiful. Esther won and became queen. An evil man in the kingdom wanted to get rid of all of the Israelite and plotted a way to kill them all. Esther because she was queen was able to save her people. At first she didn’t think she could help, but her uncle reminded her that everyone is important. God had placed Esther as queen for a special job. Her bravery saved many lives. Discuss: * How did Esther become queen? * How did this help her save the Israelite’s? * Think about a time you have been brave? Do: Find the crown and place it on your Jesse Tree. Sing: Once in Royal David’s City Pray: Dear God, Thank you for people like Esther who show us what brave means. Help us to be brave and do what pleases you. Amen Memory Verse: We must obey God rather than people. Acts 5:29

Wednesday, December 15

Light two purple candles and the pink candle. Read: Daniel 6; Exodus 20:4 Say: God wants to be the most important thing in our lives; more important than our family, our things, even our own lives. Daniel knew that! He worshiped God even though it might cost him his own life. Daniel was a captive in Babylon. The king made a statue of himself. He then declared that all the people would bow down and worship the statue. Daniel knew that it was wrong to bow down and worship anything but the true God. The king punished Daniel for not bowing down to the statue by putting Daniel in the lion’s den. God protected Daniel from the hungry lions all night. When morning came and Daniel was still living the people learned of God’s power. Many others worshiped God because Daniel had trusted and honored God. Discuss: * What did Daniel do that got him in trouble with the king? * What was Daniel’s punishment? * Did the lion’s eat Daniel? Do: Find the lion and place it on your Jesse Tree. Sing: Once in Royal David’s City Pray: Dear God, It is not always easy to love you more than anything. Help us to trust you and to always put you first. Amen Memory Verse: You shall not make for yourself an idol. Exodus 20:4

Thursday, December 16

Light two purple candles and the pink candle. Read: Nehemiah 1:3, 2:18; 6:15-16; Psalm 130:5 Say: This brick wall represents the Wall of Jerusalem. There was a wall that encircled the entire city. Do you remember that several times we have talked about the people of Israel not doing what God wanted them to do? God’s punishment was to let armies defeat Israel and take them off into captivity. God also let the armies tear down their wall of protection around the city of Jerusalem. One of the prophecies about Jesus birth says that the people would return to Jerusalem. Nehemiah lived in Babylon and pleaded to be sent back to Jerusalem with permission to rebuild the wall. He was given permission and began working on rebuilding the wall about 400 years before Jesus was born. When the wall was complete the people began their waiting for the Messiah. It took many years for the people to get ready for the Christ Child. Discuss: * Why did the city have a wall? * Who came back to begin work on building the wall? * How many years did the people have to wait for the Messiah? * Are you ready for the coming of the Christ Child? Do: Find the symbol of the brick wall and place it on your Jesse Tree. Sing: Once in David’s Royal City Pray: Dear God, Just as the people of Israel returned to Jerusalem and began waiting for the Messiah, help us to prepare our hearts for you to come again this Christmas. Come, Lord Jesus, come. Amen. Memory Verse: I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. Psalm 130:5

Friday, December 17

Light two purple candles and the pink candle. Read: Micah 5:2-5; Luke 2:4-7; Phi 4:13 Say: Do you know what this symbol represents? It represents the town of Bethlehem. It was a very small village and was not very important. God however, chose Bethlehem to be the place where Jesus, the Son of God would be born. Let’s read the first part of the Christmas story. (Luke 2:4-7) You might think you cannot do very much for God because you are small, but God can do anything in you if you let him. Discuss: * What was the name of the town where Jesus was born? * Was it an important place? * Was it big or small? Do: Find the symbol of Bethlehem and place it on your Jesse Tree. Sing: Once in Royal David’s City Pray: Dear God, Thank You for loving all of Your children, the big and the small. Even though we may be small like Bethlehem, help us to do great things for You. Amen. Memory Verse: I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

Saturday, December 18

Light two purple candles and the pink candle. Read: Habakkuk 2:1-4; Romans 1:17 Say: Do you know what this symbol is? It is a watchtower. In days of castles and forts, watchtower were where people stood waiting and watching. We are waiting for Christmas and we’re more than half-way there. Waiting is SO hard. But we know that eventually Christmas will be here. We wait for lots of things; birthdays, driver’s license, a trip to the doctor. Some of the things we wait for are happy occasions and some not so happy. But, whether happy or sad, waiting is for the future; it is looking ahead. God promised the Israelites that He would send a Savior for them. They knew that God would keep his promise, but it had been a very long time. Some of them forgot to keep looking for God’s promised savior. They no longer cared about God or God’s promise. When Jesus arrived as a baby they didn’t even recognize him. But those who remembered God and remembered God’s promise and kept waiting recognized Jesus. They knew that this baby was God’s promised Savior. Discuss: * Does God keep His promises? * What did he promise the Israelites? * Did they have to wait a long time? * Is waiting easy? * What is something you have waited for? Do: Find the symbol of a watchtower and place it on your Jesse Tree. Sing: Once in Royal David’s City Pray: Dear God, Waiting is not easy. Waiting for Christmas is really hard. Help us as we wait to think about baby Jesus. Help us to learn about and celebrate His birth. Amen Memory Verse: The righteous will live by faith. Romans 1:17

Sunday, December 19 The Fourth Sunday of Advent—LOVE Light all of the purple candles and the pink candle. We light the candle of love to remind us that God gives us his love in Jesus, and shows us how to love one another. God, in love gives us everything we need to live a life of hope and peace, with true joy. Read: Luke 2:1-20 Sing: Once in Royal David’s City Pray: O God of love, Thank you for your gift of love. Make our worship a time we celebrate your love and are made ready to show that love to the whole world. Amen. Say:

Sunday Evening, December 19

“Simplicity & Splendor”

The Living Christmas Tree 2010 Thursday, December 16 at 7:30 p.m. Friday, December 17 at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, December 18 at 4:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. Sunday, December 19 at *3:00 p.m. & 5:00 p.m. *indicates an abbreviated Tree presentation for young children

Monday, December 20

Light all of the purple candles and the pink candle. Read: Luke 1:5-25; Psalm 27:14 Say: These people are Zechariah & Elizabeth. Zechariah and Elizabeth loved and obeyed God. They were good people. Sometimes even good people have prayers that are not answered. They wanted a child. They had prayed many years for God to send them a baby. But their prayer went unanswered. One day while Zechariah was serving in the temple, an angel brought him a message from God. Good news, Zechariah, you and Elizabeth are going to have a baby boy. He will be a special child and you will name him John. Zechariah didn’t quite believe the angel, because he and Elizabeth were very old by now. So, God took away Zechariah’s voice as a sign of power. Can you imagine having wonderful news like this and not being able to tell anyone at all? Zechariah was sad to not have his voice, but very happy to be having a baby that would do special work for God Discuss: * Have you asked God for something that God didn’t let you have? * What did Zechariah and Elizabeth want? * What were they to name their baby? Do: Find the symbol of the man and woman and place it on your Jesse Tree. Sing: Once in Royal David’s City Pray: Dear God, Thank you for the example of Zechariah and Elizabeth. Thank you that they asked for and waited patiently for a baby. Thank you for giving their son John special work to do for you. Amen. Memory Verse: Be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. Psalm 27:14

Tuesday, December 21

Light all of the purple candles and the pink candle. Read: Matthew 3:1-6; Malachi 3:1 Say: Zechariah and Elizabeth’s son grew up to be John the Baptist. He was a cousin of Jesus’. God’s special work for John was to tell the Israelites that Jesus was coming. John wanted the people to recognize that Jesus was God’s son, the Savior that God had promised all those long years ago. He wanted them to be ready to believe that Jesus was God’s son. John wanted the people to remember God and His promises. John did not look like other people. When he was a child his parents were told to treat him special because he was chosen by God for special work. They didn’t cut his hair and when he was older he didn’t shave his beard. John lived in the desert and wore clothes made out of animal fur. People probably thought he looked a little strange. Many of them listened to him because he was different. Because of John, many people were ready to recognize Jesus when he began preaching. Discuss: *What was John’s special work that God had for him? * Why did he look strange? * Were the people ready to recognize Jesus? Do: Find the symbol of the shell and place it on your Jesse Tree. Sing: Once in Royal David’s City Pray: Dear God, Thank you for sending John to earth to get the people ready for Jesus. Help us as we prepare for Christmas to get ready for Jesus birth. Amen Memory Verse: See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Malachi 3:1

Wednesday, December 22

Light all of the purple candles and the pink candle Read: Luke 1:26-38; Psalm 73:23-24 Say: This is a lily. It is a symbol that we use to represent Mary, the mother of Jesus. When God was ready to send Jesus to earth as a baby, he needed someone to be Jesus’ mother. God needed to find a girl who loved Him and trusted Him. He needed to find a mother who was smart and strong with lots of love. God chose Mary to be the mother of Jesus. God sent an angel to tell Mary the good news. Mary wasn’t sure she would be a good mother, but she was willing to do whatever God wanted her to do. Mary knew that it would be hard to be the mother of Jesus, but she knew that God would be there to help her and tell her what to do. Mary loved God and Mary loved God’s son Jesus. Discuss: * Who did God chose to be Jesus mother? * Why did God chose Mary? Do: Find the symbol of the lily and place it on your Jesse Tree. Sing: Once in Royal David’s City Pray: Dear God, Some things just seem too hard to do. Even if we want to do what you ask. Help us to remember that You are always there to help us with whatever it is you have asked us to do. Amen. Memory Verse: Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel. Psalm 73:23-24

Thursday, December 23

Light all of the purple candles and the pink candle. Read: Matthew 1:18-25; Psalm 25:4 Say: Today’s symbol is a set of tools. When God chose Mary to be Jesus mother, he also chose Joseph to be Jesus’ father here on earth. Joseph was a carpenter; he made things like tables and chairs out of wood. God sent an angel to talk to Joseph in a dream. The angel explained to Joseph that God had chosen Mary to be Jesus’ mother and that Jesus would be the very special Son of God. When Joseph woke up, he knew that both he and Mary were part of God’s special plan. Joseph knew that he would be a good father to Jesus with God’s help. Discuss: * What did Joseph do to earn money for his family? * Who told Joseph about Jesus? * What kinds of things does God help you do? Do: Find the picture of the tools and place it on your Jesse Tree. Sing: Once in Royal David’s City Pray: Dear God, Thank You for Joseph, that he was a good earthly father for Jesus. Thank You that he worked hard to provide for his family. Thank You for helping Joseph to know what to do. Amen. Memory Verse: Show me your ways O LORD, teach me your paths. Psalm 25:4

Friday, December 24 Light all of the purple candles and the pink candles. Read: Luke 2:1-5 Say: Do you like to go on trips? Sometimes trips are lots of fun, like a family vacation to Disney World. Sometimes they are not so fun, like a trip to the dentist when you have knocked out a tooth. But whatever the reason for your trip you usually learn something new. Whatever our journey there is something new for us to experience. Before Jesus was born, Mary and Joseph went on a long journey. It was a long journey because they had to walk. They were going to the small village of Bethlehem. That was where Joseph’s family was from. The ruler in the land wanted to count everybody living there so you had to go to the place you were born to be counted. But it was always part of God’s plan for Jesus to be born in Bethlehem. So, Mary and Joseph went. They walked and were tired and hungry and dirty, but they went. Discuss: * Where did Mary and Joseph go on their journey? * Why did they go to Bethlehem? * Do you think they wanted to make this trip? * Where have you gone before, that you didn’t want to go? Do: Find the picture of the sandals and place them on your Jesse Tree. Sing: Once in Royal David’s City Pray: Dear God, Thank You for Mary and Joseph. Thank you for the trip that they made to Bethlehem and thank you for the trips you send us on. Help us to always let you tell us where to go for our trips. Amen Memory Verse: In those days, Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census


5:00 p.m. Sanctuary

Saturday, December 25 CHRISTMAS DAY Light all of the purple candles and the pink candle. If you have a Christ candle in the center of your Advent wreath, light this candle also. Sing: Joy to the World! The Lord is come: Let earth receive her King! Let every heart prepare him room, And heaven and nature sing, and heaven and nature sing, And heaven and heaven and nature sing. Say: As we light the Christ candle, we celebrate as Christians have for centuries the precious gift of love that is the Christ child. “I bring you tidings of great joy.” Read: Luke 2:6:21 Say: Our waiting is over! Baby Jesus is here! Today is the day, Christmas Day, we celebrate Jesus’ birthday. The day Jesus became a little baby. Jesus is different from us though; He is God’s Son. Jesus had been here from the very beginning, when the world was created. Do you remember on the very first devotion day we read in the book of John that Jesus was with God from the very beginning? Do you also remember that on the second day we talked about Adam and Eve choosing to disobey God? Ever since that time all people sometimes choose to disobey God. God needed to send Jesus to earth to show us how God wants us to live and to be our Savior. That’s why the angels sang, “Glory to God!” They were happy that God had sent Jesus. The story of Jesus’ birth is the most wonderful story in the Bible. God loved us so much that He sent His Son Jesus so that we could believe in Jesus and live with God in heaven. Sing: Happy Birthday, Jesus! Pray: Dear God, Christmas day is a very special day because Jesus was born on earth. Thank You for sending Jesus as a little baby to show us how to live lives that please you and to be our savior. Help us to make room for Jesus in our hearts. Amen

Jesse Tree Symbols

First Baptist Church * Huntsville, Alabama 35801 * Childhood Ministries Office * 256-428-9411 * *

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Jesse Tree