Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Jesus Tree for Lent

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 overzealous well-meaning relatives).

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!


  1. Your Jesus tree will be wonderful for Lent. i checked out the other links too. thanks for sharing. I wasn't sure if you wanted that shaking off the bonds document. if you do, send me your email in a comment. i won't publish the comment.

  2. Hi. I was wondering if you have also made the daily readings that you use into a book format? Or do you have the list of readings you do with your kids already picked out that correspond with the ornaments? Thanks! I love this idea! Jen

    1. Jen, I just saw your comment. I do have a Word doc that I can turn into a pdf but I don't feel that I can link it on this post. Email me and I will send it to you. nmlove.123 (at) gmail (dot) com.

    2. I just have it listed by day, ornament and reading and then use the New Catholic Picture Bible to go with it.

  3. Hi. I was wondering if you have the list of bible readings that you correspond to the ornaments? Thanks! LOVE this Jesse tree idea for my kids. Jen


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