On this Second Sunday of Advent, four more 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.
John the Baptist. John is the central figure in the gospel reading for today. He calls on people to prepare a way for the Lord. He challenges them to do so by repenting; being cleansed of their sins through a symbolic baptism. It is John that will go on to identify his own relative, Jesus, as the Lamb of God.
Jacob. Jacob represents a significant step forward in the growth of the descendants of Abraham. Jacob has twelve sons, most of whom are threatened by, and try to do away with their sibling, Joseph. Joseph goes on to save them all, and the family take up residence in a plentiful Egypt while Canaan was in famine.
Moses. Jacob’s sons led the Israelites into Egpyt. It was Moses who led them out again to escape the slavery imposed on them by Pharaoh and the Egyptians. God calls Moses through the burning bush, making himself known to Moses through the now well-known words, “I am who I am”.
Isaiah. Although the book of Isaiah is the bible is attributed by scholars today to several writers, they represent amazing prophecy. The early Christians very quickly began to identify the prophecies of Isaiah as being made manifest in the life and ministry of Christ.
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.