Somehow between the Christmas season and Lent, our daily Bible readings slow down and we tend to look outside the Bible to kid devotionals, faith books, etc. But as Lent nears, I feel that need to bring the Bible back, to draw closer to God through scripture. The Jesus Tree is such a simple - and doable - daily activity to do with your little ones throughout Lent, that brings the entire season to life for them. And hopefully gets their mind off the Easter Bunny (I have to do a lot of redirecting in my household thanks to
What is the Jesus Tree? If you are familiar with the Jesse Tree, it is just like that. Where the Jesse Tree covers Old Testament material through Epiphany, the Jesus Tree covers the life and missionary work of Our Lord Jesus Christ, beginning with his presentation in the temple to his resurrection on Easter morning. Every day during Lent (coming up so quickly!), the kids and I will read a scripture passage and hang up the appropriate symbol. By Easter morning, our tree will be full of life. I hope to extend this somehow into the Easter season sometime but that will have to wait until next year!
To make a Jesus Tree, you can be as simple or complicated as you like. Last year, inspired by Jessica at Shower of Roses, I chose to make our own Jesus Tree, using felt scraps I had. But it can be as simple as cutting out a construction paper tree and using leaves to mark a passage read. Or, take a look at these ideas I discovered:
- To purchase a felt kit similar to the one I made (this one is just like the one at Shower of Roses), visit here.
- From St. Brigid's Academy, color or black and white paper Jesus Tree ornaments to hang on whatever "tree" you'd like.
- Wooden tree ornaments to purchase, ready to use. The site also has "trees" for an additional cost.
- Felt tree ornaments to purchase, ready to use, and also adaptable based on Eastern/Western Churches.
- From The Diary of a Sower, a wooden tree craft idea where you add leaves each day corresponding to the Scripture read.
- From Arma Dei, stepping stones through Jesus' life.
However you choose to do it, I am sure you and your children will benefit from this little "time-out" from the world!