On this First Sunday of Advent, four symbols will be added to the Jesse Tree by the children. These recall the story of our ancestors in faith. They also recall the covenant between God and us, a covenant sealed through the fulfilment of God’s promise of a Messiah. In Advent we prepare to celebrate the Messiah’s birth in the Christmas season, as well as for our Messiah’s return at the end of time.
God. The creator of our world and of our own selves. God sent his only Son to live among us and be our saviour. The world was created, and Jesus’ birth made possible only through the will of God.
Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve represent the beginning of human life on earth. The story of Adam and Eve tells of an emerging and enduring relationship between us and God. It reminds us of our continued struggle to live according to God’s ways.
Abraham. God’s relationship with Abraham sees the beginning of a covenant between God and the people of Israel. As a result of Abraham’s faith, God promises that his descendants will be as many as the stars in heaven.
Isaac. Abraham’s faith in God is tested to the point of him being willing to sacrifice his only son. Again, as a result of his enduring faith, God reaffirms this relationship of trust. Issac is spared, and a ram is found nearby; it is sacrificed as a burnt offering on the altar Abraham built.
In Children’s Liturgy of the Word, each child will receive their own copies of these symbols. Take the time to share and discuss these with your children. Read some of the bible stories. Perhaps you can set up your own Jesse Tree at home as a preparation for Christmas.