Pistol Packin' Presbytera

Presbytera, in the Greek culture, is the wife of the Father, or parish priest.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Christmas Cookies 2007

Here are a few pictures from our Cookie Baking marathon. It took us 2 days and we baked 52 dozen. We split them three ways so that each daughter-in-law had some and so did Grandma and Grandpa. We also made many trays for friends and neighbors and even had enough for the tree trimming at church.

The spritz picture is of all the children decorating the cookies. I think Naomi and Saranita were trying to catch a nap when the picture was taken.

Progress -- The girls actually made a recipe from start to finish on their own -- Grandma was giving instructions from the comfort of her couch : ) It was a big deal this year for Lily to put the cookies in and out of the hot oven. Marina was thrilled that this year, she could remove the cookies from the sheet. The boys are just glad to lick their fingers and put cinnamon red hots on every cookie that they decorated : )

Here the grandchildren are enjoying their reward for 2 days of baking....a trip to Pizza Hut.

What would cookie making be without cookie rules? Keep these handy.

1. If you eat a Christmas Cookie fresh out of the oven it has no calories because everyone knows that the first cookie is the test and thus calorie free.

2. If you drink a diet soda after eating your second cookie it also has no calories because the diet soda cancels out the cookie calories.

3. If a friend comes over while you are making your Christmas Cookies and needs to sample you must sample with your friend. Because your friend's first cookie is calories free rule #1yours is also. It would be rude to let your friend sample alone and being the friend that you are that makes your cookie calorie free.

4. Any cookie calories consumed while walking around will fall to your feet and eventually fall off as you move. This is due to gravity and the density of the
caloric mass.

5. Any calories consumed during the frosting of the Christmas Cookies will be used up because it takes many calories to lick excess frosting from a knife without cutting your tongue.

6. Cookies colored red or green have very few calories. Red ones have 3 and Green ones have 5 – one calorie for each letter. Make more red ones!

7. If you eat cookies while watching " Miracle on 34th Street " these also have no calories because they are part of the entertainment package and not part of one's personal fuel.

8. As always cookie pieces contain no calories because the process of breaking causes calorie leakage.

9. Any cookies consumed from someone else's plate has no calories since the calories rightfully belong to the other person and will cling to their plate. We all know how calories like to CLING!

And finally...

10. Any cookies consumed while feeling stressed has no calories because Cookies used for medicinal purposes NEVER have calories. It's a rule!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Jesse Tree December 24


From the 16th century --

What harm can sin and death then do? The true God now abides with you. Let hell and Satan rage and chafe, Christ is your Brother -- ye are safe.

Martin Luther

From the 20th century --

Kneel down in awe before His crib and kiss the feet of God.

Martin Jean


Sunday, December 23, 2007

Jesse Tree December 23

On the 23rd of December, we add the star to the top of the Jesse Tree. We almost have a complete tree -- it's coming!

The star at the top of the tree causes us to look up, just like the star over Bethlehem caused the wise men to look up and travel towards the star.

Jesus is the bright Morning Star which lightens our dark world. "The people that walked in darkness (that's us folks) have seen a Great Light (that's Christ folks). How blessed we are that the Star has come to lighten our darkness.

Watchman, tell us of the night; Higher yet that star ascends. Trav'ler, blessedness and light, Peace and truth, its course portends.
Watchman, will its beams alone Gild the spot that gave them birth?
Trav'ler ages are its own; See it bursts o'er all the earth.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Jesse Tree December 22

Another angel is added to the Jesse Tree today. This angel is the one who announced to the shepherds that the Savior had been born in the town of David. The heavenly host appeared with the angel and sang "Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace, good will toward men."

We are privileged to sing the angel's song in the liturgy. It is no accident that just as the birth of Christ comes at the beginning of his earthly life, the angels' song comes at the beginning of the liturgy. In the liturgy we travel through the life of Christ from his birth (Gloria in Excelsis), his procession into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday (The Sanctus), His Passion during Holy Week (The Agnus Dei) and finally the song of Simeon (The Nunc Dimittis) which acknowledges that in the Divine Service we have seen the salvation of the Lord and we can depart in peace. What a joy it is to sing the God-inspired words of the angels!

When we sing the Gloria in Excelsis, we are united with the angels who appeared to the shepherds and with the Church as it joins in the Liturgy and with the angels in heaven who sing this at the throne of God.

In yonder home shall never Be silent music's voice;
With hearts and lips forever We shall in God rejoice.
The angels shall adore Him, All saints shall sing His praise
And bring with joy before Him Their sweetest heavenly lays.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Jesse Tree December 21

The stable is added today to the Jesse Tree. Mary and Joseph were in Bethlehem because they had to return for a census. Little did the officials know that the young One they counted as child to Mary and Joseph would be the One who would redeem the whole world.

There is such contrast in the Christmas story
~~the One who was Son of David was also David's Lord
~~the little town of Bethlehem would be the birthplace of the King of the Universe
~~the One who born in a feeding trough for animals would feed the world with His Body and Blood
~~the One who appeared as the son of the lowly carpenter Joseph was truly the Son of God.

At Bethlehem, in David's town, As Micah did of old make known;
'Tis Jesus Christ, your Lord and King, Who doth to all salvation bring.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Jesse Tree December 20

Mary is added to the Jesse Tree today and we realize that we are getting close to the actual coming of the King! We have all the prophecies in the Old Testament pointing to the Messiah; we have the forerunner in John the Baptist; we have the father-protector in Joseph and now we have the Virgin Mary.

The grace and pow'r of God the Lord Upon the mother was outpoured;
A virgin pure and undefiled In wondrous wise conceived a child.
The noble mother bore a Son - For so did Gabriel's promise run, -
Whom John confessed and leaped with joy Ere yet the mother knew her Boy.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Jesse Tree December 19

Now Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus, enters the scene. We add him to the Jesse Tree knowing very little about him. Scripture tells us less about Joseph than we know about John the Baptist but we do know that Joseph was the means that God used to protect Mary and the baby Jesus.
Like his namesake years before, Joseph flees to Egypt at God's command for protection. The Old Testament Joseph protected the descendants of Abraham by going to Egypt and feeding them so they could survive the world wide famine. Joseph, the father of Jesus, took Mary and the child Jesus to escape death at the hand of King Herod. Joseph protected the Descendant of Abraham by following the instructions of the Angel.
The closer we get to December 24th, the more the Jesse Tree prepares us for the coming of the Seed of Abraham.
When Jesus comes, - O blessed story!
He works a change in heart and life;
God's kingdom comes with pow'r and glory
To young and old, to man and wife;
Thro Sacrament and living Word,
Faith, love and hope are now conferred

Jesse Tree December 18

On December 18th, we added John the Baptist to the Jesse Tree. He is truly a wild and crazy guy as the old Saturday Night Live shtick goes. St. Matthew describes him as wearing camel's hair with a leather belt around his waist. His food consisted of locusts and wild honey. St. Mark begins his gospel with the introduction of John as the voice of one calling in the desert "Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him." In the first chapter of the gospel of Luke, John's father Zechariah prophesied at his son's circumcision "You child, will be called a prophet of the Most High for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him.." Finally, in the gospel of John, the voice in the wilderness declares that "He who comes after me has surpassed me because He was before me."

Clearly, this is no ordinary man! His job was to point to the Christ and tell people to repent for the Lord is at hand! John the Baptist recognized that Christ is the One who is coming to crush the head of the enemy, the devil. John says that he is not worthy to even untie the sandals of the Christ. Like Moses before him, John knew that those feet were holy feet. The feet of Christ, on the cross, would crush the head of Satan and so fulfill the prophecy in Genesis "He will crush your head."

John's message then is the same to us today -- Repent for the Lord is at hand.

On Jordan's bank the Baptist's cry Announces that the Lord is nigh;

Come, then, and hearken, for he brings Glad tidings from the King of Kings.

and for my husband I'll include this favorite verse of his

Lay on the sick Thy healing hand And make the fallen strong to stand;

Show us the glory of Thy face Till beauty springs in every place.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Jesse Tree December 17

Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, is the next player to be represented on the Jesse Tree. Elizabeth was old when she had her first son. So old, that it was obvious that this was a child who was a gift from God....in more than one way.

Elizabeth brings to mind all those in the Old Testament who waited with patience(or NOT) to conceive
~~Sarah who tried to fulfill the promise through her servant Hagar
~~Rachel who offered her slave Bilhah to bear children for Jacob
~~Hannah who gave her much awaited son, Samuel, to serve in the Temple

These woman all waited to become pregnant and when the Lord removed their barren-ness, it was a sign of the mercy of God. In today's world where over a million children are thrown away, many have lost the wonder that each child is a gift from God. We are no longer like the Israelites who wondered if each child was THE ONE who was coming. Even Eve when she conceived, after the promise of the Savior was given in the Garden of Eden, named her son Cain as if he might be the Man, the promised one.

But Elizabeth knew that the Promised One was in the womb of her relative Mary. When Mary came to visit Elizabeth, she greeted her as "the mother of my Lord." The Holy Spirit revealed to Elizabeth that Mary was to be blessed among women because of the Child she would bear. What joy! It is fitting that we hear about Elizabeth during the third week of Advent when the introit is "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say,, Rejoice."

Hark the glad sound! The Savior comes, The Savior promised long;
Let ev'ry heart prepare a throne And ev'ry voice a song.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Jesse Tree December 16

Here is the angel Gabriel, from heaven sent to Mary to tell her that she is most highly favored and will give birth to a Son and name Him Jesus. With this symbol, we turn from the Old Testament and the tracing of the ancestry of Jesus to the fulfilment of what was promised of old. Yesterday we heard Isaiah prophecy that a virgin will bear The Seed. Today we fast forward 700 years to the announcement of Gabriel that Mary's Son is the One for whom we have been waiting.

After Gabriel calms the troubled Mary with the words "Do not be afraid" her response is "I am the Lord's servant, May it be to me as you have said." What a faithful answer to a very awe-filled event. When Mary later sings her song magnifying the Lord, she also acknowledges that God is her Savior -- even this faithful woman who accepts this miracle happening within her, realizes that she too needs a Savior. So may it be for us as we contemplate what happens to and for us this Advent! We too recognize that the Savior is OUR Savior. He comes to redeem me, a lost and condemned creature.

Jesus! Name of wondrous love, Name all other names above

Unto which must every knee Bow in deep humility.

Jesus! Name decreed of old, To the maiden mother told--

Kneeling in her lowly cell -- By the angel Gabriel.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Jesse Tree December 15

On the Jesse Tree today, we place a scroll representing the prophet Isaiah who tells us about the Messiah who will come. Isaiah tells us the Savior will be born of a virgin. What an unlikely event!! Yet that is exactly what happened. It was so unlikely that it took an angel to tell Mary about it and an angel to convince Joseph that it really did happen.

Another prophecy that Isaiah gives us is that the Messiah's name would be Immanuel which means God with us. That name is all revealing of the nature of God. HE comes to us. We don't work and work and finally perfect ourselves so that we can go to Him. HE comes to us. HE is not a remote God, somewhere up there but can be found here and now in the Bread and the Wine. HE comes to us. HE is not a God whose voice can not be heard because HE is the very Word of God. Jesus Christ is Who and How God speaks to us.

Advent means coming and it is God-With-Us who comes at Christmas time. We look forward to the return of the Baby at the end time to take us with Him to heaven.

Isaiah hath foretold It in words of promise sure,

and Mary's arms enfold It, a virgin meek and pure.

Through God's eternal will This Child to her is given

At midnight calm and still.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Jesse Tree December 14

With Solomon, we end tracing the lineage of Jesus and turn to some prophecies for the inspiration for our symbols. The symbol for the 14th is a large fish -- most think of it as a whale. It is the story of the prophet Jonah and prefigures what will happen years later to the Christ. It is many years after Solomon and the Kingdom of Israel is now just a remnant of what it was in it's glory days. Jonah is sent to preach to the foreign people in the city of Ninevah. Jonah so doesn't want to do this, that he heads the OTHER way. God intervenes and has the great fish swallow Jonah. Jonah remains in the belly of the fish for 3 days and then is given a new life by being spit out of the fish. He preaches to the men of Ninevah and they repent!!

Christ applies this to Himself by saying that this is a miraculous sign that the Son of Man will be in the belly of the earth for three days and will rise again. Jesus, unlike Jonah, willingly went to the cross to die for us. What wondrous love is this? Jesus did not head the OTHER way but came to seek and to save us. We are safe -- His Resurrection becomes our resurrection.

Then stilled are cries and lamentations, Then loosed is Satan's every band;
In death is hope and consolation, The soul is safe in Jesus's hand,
When we shall walk through death's dark vale, His rod and staff shall never fail.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Jesse Tree December 13

King David, had a son by the name of Solomon. It is King Solomon who is represented by the crown on the Jesse Tree. King Solomon is known for his wisdom. He prayed to God, not for wealth or riches, but for wisdom so that he could rule well. God gave him wisdom and God has sent His Wisdom into the world -- we look for the coming of Wisdom from on High in Jesus Christ. That is our correct response in the liturgy when we hear that the Gospel is being read -- "Wisdom! Let us be attentive".

King Solomon is also famous for building the temple where God would come and meet with man. Christ is recognized by St John as the One who came and pitched His Tent among us -- John 1:14 "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling (literally pitched his tent) among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only who came from the Father full of grace and truth. " In the Old Testament, the people came to the Temple to worship God. In our age, the latter days, we worship God as He comes to us in Word and Sacrament.

A Helper just He comes to thee, His chariot is humility,
His kingly crown is holiness, His scepter, pity in distress,
The end of all our woes He brings; Wherefore the earth is glad and sings:
We praise Thee, Savior, now Mighty in deed are Thou!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Jesse Tree December 12

Little David play on your harp, Hallelu, Hallelu. That's another spiritual from my youth that I think of whenever I think of King David and his harp. We are now at the symbol for the son of Jesse better known as David.

The harp is the symbol for David because of his writing of so many of the Psalms, the hymnal of the Old Testament. David was a musician and used that music and the words of the Psalms to soothe the troubled soul of King Saul. Today we use the words of David to calm ourselves too when we say "The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not want". Knowing that Jesus, the Shepherd, has come (at Christmas), still comes in the Body and Blood and will come again to judge us at the last day causes us, during Advent, to look with expectant hope for the eternal hymn fest to be held in heaven.

Now let all the heavn's adore Thee, Let men and angels sing before Thee,

With harp and cymbal's clearest tone. Of one pearl each shining portal,

Where, dwelling with the choir immortal, We gather round Thy radiant throne.

No vision every brought, No ear hath ever caught, Such great glory;

Therefore will we Eternally Sings hymns of praise and joy to Thee.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Jesse Tree December 11

It is hard to see the green on the green but the symbol for the 11th of December is a little Jesse tree for the father of King David, the grandson of Boaz and Ruth. Jesse is pictured as a tree because of this quote from the prophet Isaiah "A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. " Isaiah 11:1 The Branch that will come from Jesse, of course, is the Savior Jesus.

I thought you might like to see how the tree is looking so far -- almost half filled with symbols tracing Christ from the beginning of Genesis.

Behold, a Branch is growing Of loveliest form and grace
As prophets sung foreknowing; it springs from Jesse's race
And bears one little Flow'r In midst of coldest winter,
At deepest midnight hour.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Jesse Tree December 10

We add the grain of wheat to the Jesse Tree today and remember the story of Ruth and her savior Boaz who are both mentioned in the lineage of Jesus in the Gospel of St. Matthew. They made a very exclusive list! Ruth was not even an Israelite but married into the faith and as a young widow, followed her mother in law back to the Promised Land. They were destitute and Ruth gleaned in the fields of Boaz. According to the law, Ruth was allowed to glean or pick up any grain from the corner of the fields. Boaz, however, was generous and full of mercy and insisted that Ruth gather with the regular pickers. Ruth reaped from the abundance of Boaz. Eventually, Boaz married Ruth and rescued her from a life of need and want. In a similar way, Christ is our Bridegroom and presents us as his Bride, adorned in the white of His righteousness. He feeds us with the abundance of His mercy through the gift of His Church. Come Bridegroom and take us to the heavenly Nuptial Hall.

The Bridegroom soon will call us: Come, all ye wedding guests!
May not His voice appal us While slumber binds our breasts!
May all our lamps be burning And oil be found in store
That we, with Him returning May open find the door.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Jesse Tree December 9

Today we add the horn to remind us of Joshua. Growing up, I think I would only have been able to tell you that Joshua fought the battle of Jericho, Jericho, Jericho. I could have even sung it to you : ) I now know a little bit more of Joshua, son of Nun. What wonderful Gospel words come to Joshua as he is given the command to take over after Moses dies. God told Joshua, "No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was wih Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you." Joshua 1:5 WOW! Joshua commanded the people to wait 3 days to cross the Jordan River to get to the promised land -- a very forward looking peek into the 3 day wait for the resurrection of our Lord...a resurrection which would bring us into the Eternal Promised Land. Joshua does join the procession and eventually the trumpets sound and the walls come tumblin' down! Joshua was a savior to his people and is another TYPE of the Christ who is our long awaited Savior.

Now our heavenly Aaron enters
With His blood within the veil;
Joshua now is come to Canaan
And the kings before Him quail.
Now He plants the tribes of Israel
In their promised resting-place;
Now our great Elijah offers
Double portion of His grace.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Jesse Tree December 8

On the Jesse Tree today, we put the tablets of the Law representing Moses. Just like Noah, Moses is saved by the water that floats his little ark, or basket. Like Moses, we too are saved by the water of Baptism. Although the law was given originally in our hearts, it is finally written down on Tablets and given by God to Moses. Moses is so much more than just the LAW. It is he who intervenes to save the life of an Israelite. It is he who leads the children of Israel from death to life (again through the water of the Red Sea) and it is he who pleads for God's mercy for the children of Israel. Sounds an awful lot to me like a TYPE of the coming Savior who leads us from death to life and who sits at the right hand of God! Come Lord Jesus and lead us to the promised land in Heaven.

Jesus comes to hearts rejoicing, Bringing news of sins forgiv'n
Jesus comes in sounds of gladness, Leading souls redeemed to heav'n.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Now the gate of death is riv'n (just like the Red Sea)

Friday, December 07, 2007

Jesse Tree December 7

This symbol took so much time and it is indicative of the care my sister-in-law took to make this banner for me. The coat, of course, represents Joseph an important type in the Old Testament which points to Christ. After the brothers sold Joseph into slavery, they put blood on his coat. That blood saved them because they did not have to pay for their sin. In the same way, the blood of Jesus shed on the cross covers our sin. My baptism dresses me in the righteousness of Christ -- it is my robe and beautiful dress. Although Joseph is not in the direct line of Christ, it is because of Joseph that the family of Jacob was saved during the famine. Joseph was in a position to dispense food from the storehouses of Egypt to his brothers. In the same way, we are given spiritual food from the storehouse of the Church -- as Christ's ministers give us the Body and Blood of our Lord in the Supper.

Our Father, rich in blessing, Will give us crowns of gold
And, to His bosom pressing, Impart a bliss untold,
Will welcome with embraces Of never ending love,
And deck us with His graces In blissful realms above.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Jesse Tree December 6

The symbol for today is a ladder which represents the patriarch Jacob. I can not say Jacob's Ladder without hearing the song we sang in Jr. Choir -- many years ago!! "We are climbing Jacob's ladder". I wonder now about that song considering it is the angels which descend FIRST, just as it is God who comes to us in love so that we can believe! The action in salvation is always from God to us. So the ladder is Jesus who comes from heaven to earth to then carry us back to heaven with Him! At Bethel, Jacob is promised again that through him all the nations will be blessed -- it is that Blessing which we celebrate on Christmas Day.

The everlasting Son Incarnate deigns to be;
Himself a servant's form puts on To set His people free.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Jesse Tree December 5

Today we add this bundle of sticks to the Jesse Tree. The sticks remind us of Isaac, the long awaited SON of his father, Abraham. Abraham is told to sacrifice HIS SON and they journey to offer this sacrifice. Isaac is burdened with carrying the sticks up the mountain just as our coming Savior will be burdened with carrying his cross as he goes to Mt. Calvary. Abraham's faith is such that when they leave the servants behind, he tells them "We will worship and then WE will come back to you." Abraham believed God when He promised that Abraham would have as many descendants as the stars in the sky. Abraham knew that God would provide a Sacrifice and so he assured the servants that BOTH of them would return.

It is during Advent that we concentrate on the Coming Savior who will rescue us, not with a load of sticks, but with His cross.

Once He came in blessing, All our ills redressing;
Came in likeness lowly, Son of God most holy;
Bore the cross to save us, Hope and freedom gave us.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Jesse Tree December 4

Here we have Abraham -- looking kind of old, looking as if he's traveled a good way. He has! This ancestor of Jesus came a long way to finally settle where the Lord placed him in the land of Canaan. I have always been impressed that Abraham was able to make that move at the advanced age of 80. I'm also impressed by the story of Abraham pleading with God to save the righteous in the town of Sodom. It brings to mind that Jesus is right now at the right hand of God pleading for us. What a comforting thought! Come quickly Lord Jesus and take us with you....

There shall we see delighted Our dear Redeemer's face
Who leads our souls benighted To glory by His grace.
The patriarchs (including the old man Abraham) shall meet us, The prophets' holy band
Apostles. martyrs, greet us In that celestial land.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Jesse Tree December 3

Our next stop in the lineage of Jesus is Noah and the Ark. On the 3rd of December we add the ark to the Jesse Tree and are reminded that there is punishment for sin. The entire world, except for 8 people, was destroyed because of sin. The water of the flood, supported the ark and so saved Noah and his family. We are reminded that the waters of Baptism save us also. During Advent, we look for the coming of the Savior in whose Name we will be baptized. We all come to the font (8 sided like the 8 who were saved in the flood) and are united with the death and resurrection of He-Who-Is-Coming.

On this day, we sing

Baptized into Thy name most holy, O Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
I claim a place, though weak and lowly, Among Thy seed, Thy chosen host.
Buried with Christ and dead to sin, Thy Spirit now shall live within.

Jesse Tree December 2

Today we put this symbol of evil on the Jesse Tree to remind us that the coming Savior will crush the head of Satan for us. The snake lied to Eve and twisted the Word of God. Things have not changed much in that respect even though centuries have elapsed. The devil, the world and our sinful flesh still twist the clear word of God and make it something it is not. Thanks be to God that He is faithful and that He keeps his promise. Our gracious heavenly Father promised that a Son would be born, that the Seed would come to rescue us. It is that Blessed Seed born on Christmas Day that we anticipate all through Advent.

Jesse Tree December 1

On the first day of December, the apple goes on the tree. The apple, of course, represents Adam and Eve, the very oldest of Jesus's ancestors. God commanded that they not eat of the Tree in the center of the garden but we all know what happened. They thought they knew better than God. They were tempted and choose the evil path. The temptation today is to think that if WE had been in the garden, we would have obeyed. HA!

Think on these words penned by Lazarus Spengler in the 16th century

All mankind fell in Adam's fall, One common sin infects us all;
From sire to son the bane descends, And over all the curse impends.

Those are sobering words that condemn us all. Ah, Advent, the season of repentance. In the fall, the image of God was lost and blurred and we don't even seek to be saved. Thanks be to God who sent His Son to seek for us.
We expectantly hope for the coming Savior.

History of our Jesse Tree

This is our Jesse Tree and we have been using parts of it since 1982! The banner itself had to be replaced since the white background had yellowed through the years. Each individual symbol though, was lovingly made by my dear sister-in-law Marty when my oldest son Theo was just a wee lad.

The Jesse Tree traces the ancestry of Jesus through the Old Testament by emphasizing several ancestors of Jesus. It begins way back in the Garden of Eden on December 1st and culminates with the birth of our Savior on Dec 24th. Each day, we remove a symbol from it's pocket, place it on the tree and read the Biblical story and sing an appropriate hymn verse.

Several years ago, a group of MartinLoopers gathered at a church near here and made Jesse Trees for each family. It was quite a bit of fun -- each person working on a different symbol. It was my job to cut out the red letters for each banner, Jenny sewed the banner itself and I do remember Polly was in charge of John the Baptist who ended up looking very wilderness-dwelling thanks to some wild and crazy hair! I didn't need the symbols since I still had the originals but I took the opportunity to make a Jesse Tree for my 2 sons so they could continue the tradition.