Day #7 – Jacob
Scripture: Genesis 28:10-22
Ornament: Jacob’s ladder
Story: The Jesse Tree,”Stairway to Heaven”, pages 26-29
Song: “We Are Climbing Jacob’s Ladder” (Watch it here)
The point: God repeated the promise that He had given to Abraham and promised Jacob that his seed would be as the dust of the earth and that through his seed (Jesus) would all the nations of the earth be blessed.
Suggested activity: 1) Be a blessing to someone and write a note to someone to remind that person how much God loves them. 2) Find a big, semi-smooth rock and have your children try to lay their heads on it like a pillow and think of Jacob’s fitful night and eventful encounter with God.
Day #8 – Leah
Scripture: Genesis 29:16-35
Ornament: Tender eyes – Leah’s tender eyes or a veiled face. The Bible makes specific mention of Leah’s eyes. And it is likely that they were the only thing Jacob saw when he married her.
Story: The Jesus Storybook,”The girl no one wanted”, pages 70-75
Song: “Something Beautiful”
The point: It’s intriguing and special that although Jacob’s favorite was Rachel, God favored Leah. He opened her womb and honored Jacob’s first wife. The Bible says that she had “tender eyes” and her name literally means “weary.” God saw how she suffered and blessed her with children. And she gave birth to Levi (Mary’s ancestor, representing the priestly line) and Judah (Joseph’s ancestor, representing the kingly line.) It’s also a beautiful thing that by the time she had Judah, she was no longer pining for Jacob’s, but gloried in God’s love and named her son, “Praise.”
Suggested activity: Look into a mirror and try to see yourself as God sees you.
Day #9 – Joseph
Scripture: Genesis 37:3-36, 50:15-21
Ornament: The coat of many colors
Story: The Jesse Tree, “The Dreamer” and “Famine & Plenty”, pages 30-36 / The Jesus Storybook, “The forgiving prince”, pages 76-83
Song: “Joseph” (Watch it here)
The point: Although Joseph’s coat caused great jealousy among his brothers and was the catalyst for Joseph being sold into Egypt, God saw the big picture and what they had meant for evil, He meant for good. Jacob’s (Israel’s) people were preserved through the famine because of Joseph’s position in Egypt. God makes provision for His people.
Suggested activity: Rehearse as a family some “bad things” that have happened to you and discuss how the Lord has turned it into something good for you all.
Day #10 – The Passover
Ornament: The blood on the mantel
Story: The Jesse Tree, “Let My People Go!” pages 37-41, The Jesus Storybook, “God to the Rescue” and “God makes a way”, pages 84-99
Song: “When I See the Blood, I Will Pass Over You” (Watch if here) or “How Did Moses Cross the Red Sea” (Watch it here)
The point: Although the Passover doesn’t point to Jesus’ birth, it certainly points to Him, the ultimate Passover Lamb. God saved His people from extinction by delivering them out of Pharaoh’s hand.
Suggested activity: Have an authentic Passover meal and/or Communion as a family (with parental discretion). We actually just looked up the instructions in Exodus 12 and prepared them instead of following a traditional Seder.
Day #11 – The 10 Commandments
Scripture: Exodus 20:1-21
Ornament: The stone tablets
Story: The Jesus Storybook, “Ten ways to be perfect”, pages 100-107
Song: “The Perfect Ten”
The point: Discuss that God desired to write His law on the hearts of the people even in the Old Testament times, but the people “stood afar off”, but “Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.” The blessing was on Moses because he desired to draw close to God above all else. The people feared the awesomeness of God, but were was clearly a heart problem with the people. But when Jesus was crucified, the veil in the temple was rent in two from top to bottom and allowed us to approach God. Now His law can indeed be written on our hearts.
Suggested activity: Do a memory game and try to arrange the commandments in order. You can also discuss how the first four commandments deal with our relationship with God and the last six are about how we relate to others.
Day #12 – Rahab
Scripture: Joshua 2:1-24, 6:20-25
Ornament: Red cord (or red ribbon) It’s hard to tell here, but this is a clear globe with a red ribbon filling it. You could do something like this or simply tie a red cord to a branch.
Story: Neither of the two books that we’re referencing had Rahab represented, so we are just going to read the Scriptures.
Song: Under construction
The point: As mentioned above, Rahab isn’t in either version we’re reading. But Shane and I both felt that her story is essential. She is indeed an ancestor of Jesus and it was entirely due to her obedience and not her blood-line. She shows that no matter how deep and dark the sin of your past, when you choose to make God the Lord of your life and turn from your sin, you are part of His family.
Suggested activity: Look around your house as a family for as many red things as you can find. You could even split into teams and make it a contest.
Day #13 – Ruth
Scripture: Ruth 1:8-22, 2:4-20, 4:13-14
Ornament: I didn’t have any barley, but I just filled this empty globe with grains of various kinds. I would like to eventually replace it with barley.
Story: The Jesse Tree, “The Foreigner,” pages 42-45
Song: “The Song of Ruth” (Watch it here)
The point: As with Rahab, it was Ruth’s obedience that made her a part of Jesus’s ancestry, rather than her blood-line. She chose to make the God of Israel her God rather than the gods of Moab. Because she honored her mother-in-law, she was married to her kinsman redeemer, Boaz, a type of Christ. And as a result, she was the grandmother of King David.
Suggested activity: Have a “lights out” night except for your Christmas lights. Notice how the the light seems brighter in the darkness and think about how God shines His light in our darkest of times, just as He did for Ruth amid the loss of her husband.
Day #14 – Samuel
Scripture: I Samuel 3:1-10, 16:4-13
Ornament: Anointing oil – The part of Samuel to focus on is that he anointed David to be King, apart from Saul’s blood-line.
Story: The Jesse Tree, “Speak, Lord, For Your Servant is Listening,” pages 46-49 / The Jesus Storybook, “The teeny-weenie…true king”, pages 116-121
Song: “Little David, Play on Your Harp” (Watch it here) and/or “Only a Boy Named David” (Watch it here)
The point: No, Samuel was not in Jesus’s direct bloodline. But he was the one man in those days that heard directly from God and it was he who anointed David to be king. He played an essential role in the plan. It was he who heard God tell him, “…For man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”
Suggested activity: If you use essential oils at all, you could have your children smell cassia oil, which was a common anointing oil in Bible times.
Day #15 – David
Scripture: Matthew 22:41-46, John 10:7-19, Acts 13:22-23
Ornament: The staff & the crown – This represents that David was both a shepherd and a king. It beautifully pointed to the fact that Jesus would be both for us as well. He is the Great Shepherd and the King of kings.
Story: The Jesse Tree, “The Shepherd King” and “Dancing”, pages 50-56 / The Jesus Storybook, “The young hero and the horrible giant” and “The Good Shepherd”, pages 122-135
Song: “King of Kings” (Watch it here) and “I am the Good Shepherd” (lyrics as follows)
I am the Good Shepherd, I am the Good Shepherd
And the Good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep (repeat)
Jesus is the Good Shepherd, Jesus is the Good Shepherd
And the Good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep (repeat)
The point: Besides the above-mentioned parallel, it is also important to point out that David was a man after God’s own heart. Although he fell at first, it’s important to learn about his character and follow his example of humility and repentance.
Suggested activity: Recite the 23rd Psalm together and discuss.
Friends, I need help! The “Under Construction” places are areas where I don’t have ideas. If you have one, please comment!
Blessings and much love,