Despite the series’ title of Out of the Blue, the idea for this devotional resource itself grew from a specific seed. The stories we have selected and the way we mark them emerge from the tradition of the Jesse tree.
The Jesse tree is a medieval symbolic depiction of Jesus’ ancestry. It is also a symbol of the Advent season, sometimes used for home devotions during the weeks leading to Christmas. When used at home, a Jesse tree tells the stories of Jesus’ ancestors by using Bible stories and accompanying symbolic ornaments, one for each day of Advent. By Christmas, the Jesse tree is full of biblical imagery, and you’ve spent the season dwelling in stories of faith. In short, you are building Jesus a family tree of sorts.
In the traditional Jesse tree used for home devotions, the Bible stories are taken from the genealogy of Jesus as described in Matthew 1. The stories we’ve curated are also mostly drawn from Matthew 1, with a particular focus on the women in Jesus’ lineage. These stories tell us something about who Jesus will be. They testify to the consistency of God’s promise within the messiness of human existence. Often, God’s action seems to come out of the blue in these stories.
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Out of the Blue © 2022 by Barn Geese Worship. Used by permission.