1.

Watch: Jesse Tree

Symbol: Stump with Branch

Read: Isaiah 11:1-2

Discussion Questions:

  • What is the Jesse Tree?

  • Why do we call it the Jesse Tree?

  • What did the people of Israel believe the prophecy was about and why?

  • How does your heart feel when you see new plants growing in the spring?

  • What was the promise?

Prayer: God, you give us hope. Thank you for giving us Jesus, like new growth in spring. Would you help us to pay attention to him this Advent? Amen.

Homework: Make a symbol. If you would like to share your symbol, take a picture and send your picture to Debra.

2.

Watch: Tower

Symbol: Watch Tower

Read: Habakkuk 2:1-3

Discussion Questions:

  • What are prophets?

  • What is does prophecy mean in the Bible?

  • What is prophecy sometimes called?

  • Where is Habakkuk standing and doing?

  • What did God tell Habakkuk to do?

  • By the time of Jesus what did these words mean to the people of Israel?

  • What do people do when they want to see what is coming?

  • Where to we go to see God coming?

  • What are towers for us today?

  • What was the promise?

  • What things, big or little, are you waiting for?

  • Why is it hard to wait sometimes?

Prayer: God, waiting is hard! We want you to fix everything right now. Will you help us grow more patient? Will you help us trust that you will do what you’ve said you’ll do? Amen.

Homework: Make a symbol. If you would like to share your symbol, take a picture and send your picture to Debra.

3.

Watch: Family

Symbol: Globe

Read: Genesis 1:26-31

Discussion Questions:

  • What does it mean God made human beings in the image of God?

  • What attributes do we share with God?

  • What is stewardship?

  • Why isn't this the first story in the Jesse Tree?

  • What was the promise?

  • What things about you--your personality or your character---are like Jesus?

  • Can you think of ways that God made you to look like him? 

Prayer: Wow, God! We feel pretty special that you made us like you. Would you help us get to know Jesus so that we can look more and more like him? Amen.

Homework: Make a symbol. If you would like to share your symbol, take a picture and send your picture to Debra.

4.

Watch: The Fall

Symbol Snake and Apple

Read: Genesis 3

Discussion Questions:

  • What is the story of the Fall really about?

  • Did the people know right from wrong in the beginning? Why?

  • What did God tell the people in the garden to do and not do?

  • Who talked to the woman and what did he ask the woman?

  • What did the snake tell the woman about the tree?

  • Why wouldn't we want to be just like God?

  • Why were the man and the woman hiding from God?

  • Who do the man and woman blame?

  • What happens to the snake?

  • What happens to the people?

  • Do you think this story happened just as it was written? Why?

  • Why is this story important to be included in the Jesse Tree?

  • Why is this story important to us today?

  • What was the promise?

  • What things do you do that make you feel far from God?

  • What do you look forward to about living near to God?

Prayer: Loving God, we’re sorry for doing things that put a gap between us and you. Jesus, thank you for closing that gap when you died. We’re excited to live with you in the city with a tree! Amen.

Homework: Make a symbol. If you would like to share your symbol, take a picture and send your picture to Debra.

5.

Watch: Noah's Ark

Symbol: Noah's Ark

Read: Genesis 6:11–14; 7:17–8:3; 9:8–13

Discussion Questions:

  • Why does God decide to destroy the world?

  • What does God tell Noah to do?

  • How long did the rain last?

  • What birds did Noah send out and why?

  • When did Noah know to release all the animals?

  • What was God's promise to Noah and what was a symbol of this promise?

  • Why would the story of Noah be included in the Jesse Tree?

  • What day of creation would we be going back to when the waters were covering the earth?

  • What was the promise?

  • How does it feel to take a deep breath of fresh air?

  • What does Holy Spirit breath feel  like inside you?

Prayer: God, you give the breath of life and you take it away. Would you fill us with your Holy Spirit so that we can live in a way that shows our love for you and our love for other people? Amen.

Homework: Make a symbol. If you would like to share your symbol, take a picture and send your picture to Debra.

6.

Watch: The Promised Land 

Symbol: Tent and Camel

Read: Genesis 12:1–7

Discussion Questions:

  • What are the five things God promises Abram to leave everything he knew?

  • Have you ever had to leave everything you knew? What happened?

  • Can you imagine how scary it might have been for Abram?

  • Who went with Abram?

  • Why would the story of Abram be included in the Jesse Tree?

  • What was the promise?

  • What does it feel like to go somewhere new?

  • Why was Jesus willing to leave heaven to show God's love to us?

Prayer: Jesus, thank you so much for coming to earth so we can be loved by God. Will you help me do hard things sometimes so other people can know your love, too? Amen

Homework: Make a symbol. If you would like to share your symbol, take a picture and send your picture to Debra.

7

Watch: God's Promise to Abraham

Symbol: Starry Sky

Read: Genesis 15:1–6

Discussion Questions:

  • How is Abram's encounter with God different than from one in Episode 6?

  • What are the three things God tells Abram in verse one of Chapter 15?

  • What was it that Abram believed (verse 6)?

  • Who went with Abram?

  • Why would this story of Abram be included in the Jesse Tree?

  • What was the promise?

  • Do you think Abraham tried to count all the stars he could see?

  • What does it feel like to be part of God’s family?

Prayer: God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, thank you for making me part of your family. I’m thankful that I get to be in the same family as Jesus. Amen.

Homework: Make a symbol. If you would like to share your symbol, take a picture and send your picture to Debra.

8

Watch: Abraham Sacrifices Isaac

Symbol: Ram

Read: Genesis 22:1-14

Discussion Questions:

  • What test did God give Abraham – 22:1,2?

  • Why would this be hard for Abraham to do (remember all we have studied regarding Isaac’s birth and the promises God had made regarding him).

  • Despite the difficulties, how did Abraham show his willingness to obey – 22:3,4? (Think: What applications can we make to people who postpone or neglect to obey God?)

  • What question did Isaac ask regarding the proceedings and how did Abraham answer – 22:5-8? (Think: In what sense was Abraham’s answer correct?)

  • How far did Abraham go with the sacrifice, and why did he stop – 22:9-12?

  • What did he offer instead of Isaac – 22:13?

  • What did God say regarding Abraham’s willingness to offer Isaac – 22:14-18? (Think: What sacrifices does God expect us to make for Him?)

  • What was the promise? 

  • How did Isaac feel when he was going up the mountain with his dad?

  • How much do you think God loves you?

Prayer: Jesus, thank you for being a present to me. Help me trust you even when things are very hard. Amen.

Homework: Make a symbol. If you would like to share your symbol, take a picture and send your picture to Debra.

9

Watch: Jacob’s Dream

Symbol: Jacob’s ladder
Read: Scripture: 
Genesis 28:10–22

Discussion Questions:

  • Where did Jacob lay down to rest?

  • What was the dream Jacob had?

  • How would you feel if you had a dream like this?

  • What did God promise Jacob?

  • How did Jacob respond to God's faithfulness?

  • How would you feel if God spoke to you in a dream?

  • What was the promise? 

  • What did Jacob make of his vivid dream?

  • What’s one dream you can remember?

Closing Prayer: ​Lord we are thankful that you revealed yourself to Jacob and that you are faithful and kept the promises that you made.  Thank you Lord. Amen.

Homework: Make a symbol. If you would like to share your symbol, take a picture and send your picture to Debra.

10

Watch: Joseph

Symboll: Joseph’s coat of many colors
Read: Scripture: 
Genesis 37:1–36 

Discussion Questions:

  • What dreams did Joseph tell his family?

  • What do you think the brothers sad about Joseph when he wasn't around?

  • What did Joseph's brothers do to him and why?

  • What did the brothers do with Joseph's robe?

  • What was the promise? 

  • How did Joseph’s brothers feel?

  • How could Joseph still love his brothers when they hated him so much?

Prayer: O my God, I love You above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because You are all good and worthy of my love. I love my neighbor as myself for the love of You. I forgive all who have injured me and I ask pardon of all whom I have injured. Amen.​

Homework: Make a symbol. If you would like to share your symbol, take a picture and send your picture to Debra.

11

Watch: The10 Commandments

Symbol: Tablets
Read: Scripture: 
Deuteronomy 5:1–22 

Discussion Questions:

  • What are the Ten Commandments

  • Where did God meet with Moses write the Ten Commandments

  • What did the first four commandments teach?

  • What did the last six commandments teach?

  • What was the promise? 

  • Which of the Ten Commandments is hardest for you to follow?

Prayer: God, will you remind me of how much you already love me? Help me remember that following your rules doesn’t make you love me. Amen.

Homework: Make a symbol. If you would like to share your symbol, take a picture and send your picture to Debra.

12

Watch: Rahab

Symbol: Red Rope
Read: Scripture: 
Joshua 2:1–21

Discussion Questions:

  • Who is Rahab and what did she do?

  • Is Rahab an Israelite?

  • Why do you think Rahab protected the spies?

  • What did Rahab know about the Israelites?

  • Why is Rahab included in the Jesse Tree?

  • What was the promise? 

  • Why didn’t the Israelite spies tell Rahab to hang a purple rope in her window? 

Prayer: ​Dear God thank you for speaking to us through the story of Rahab today. We praise you because only you are worthy of our worship. We are so thankful that you rescue those who trust in you. Amen.

Homework: Make a symbol. If you would like to share your symbol, take a picture and send your picture to Debra.

13

Watch: Ruth and Boaz

Symbol: Grain
Read: Scripture: 
Ruth 2:1–4:12

Discussion Questions:

  • Who is Ruth?

  • Who is Boaz?

  • What is a family redeemer?

  • How did Boaz show Ruth kindness?

  • Who is our redeemer?

  • Why is Ruth and Boaz included in the Jesse Tree?

  • What was the promise? 

  • What about Boaz made him willing to marry Ruth, even though he didn’t know her?

  • Why do you think Jesus was willing to rescue us?

Prayer: Jesus, thanks for taking me and making me part of the wonderful family of God. Amen.

Homework: Make a symbol. If you would like to share your symbol, take a picture and send your picture to Debra.

14

Watch: God Chooses David to be King

Symbol: Sheep/Shepherd's Crook
Read: Scripture: 
1 Samuel 16:1–15

Discussion Questions:

  • Who did God send to find a new king of Israel

  • How do captains of sports teams select their teams?

  • How did God select David?

  • What is unusual about God selecting David?

  • Why is David included in the Jesse Tree?

  • What was the promise? 

  • What other stories have an underdog as the hero?

  • How is God using you, even though you’re not a grown-up or the most powerful and richest person?

Prayer: Dear Father, help us to remember that you don't judge people by how big they are or what they look like. You judge a person by what is in their heart. Amen.

Homework: Make a symbol. If you would like to share your symbol, take a picture and send your picture to Debra.

15

Watch: David Crowned King

Symbol: Crown
Read: Scripture: 
2 Samuel 5:1–5

Discussion Questions:

  • How old was David when he was crowned king?

  • When did Samuel anoint David to be king?

  • How long did David reign?

  • What was the promise? 

  • Why would a shepherd be a good king?

Prayer: King Jesus, thank you for having the heart of a shepherd! Would you help the leaders of our cities and nations be as kind and gentle as shepherds, too? Amen.

Homework: Make a symbol. If you would like to share your symbol, take a picture and send your picture to Debra.

16

Watch: Solomon Builds God's Temple

Symbol: Temple
Read: Scripture: 
1 Kings 5:5; 1 Kings 6

Discussion Questions:

  • How long did it take to build the Temple?

  • What did Solomon overlay the Temple with?

  • Where did Ark move from to?

  • What did God promise to David about building the Temple?

  • Why did God decide to let us meet him anywhere, not just in a special room in the temple?

Prayer: Jesus, thank you for being the temple, the place where I can meet God. By your Holy Spirit, I am connected with God. Help me sense you with me today. Amen.

Homework: Make a symbol. If you would like to share your symbol, take a picture and send your picture to Debra.

17

Watch: Elijah and God's Triumph over Baal

Symbol: Fire and altar
Read: Scripture: 
1 Kings 18:17–24, 36–39

Discussion Questions:

  • What did Ahab call Elijah?

  • How many false prophets came up against Elijah on Mr. Carmel?

  • What did Elijah ask the people of Israel?

  • How long did Elijah give the prophets of Baal to call on their god?

  • How much water did Elijah pour on his sacrifice and wood?

  • Why did Elijah want God to answer his prayer?

  • What is God's promise?

  • Why is Elijah included in the Jesse Tree?

  • Would it be easy for you to trust in God if you saw a big display of his power?

Prayer: God, thank you for showing me your power and your love through Jesus. Help me to trust in him. Amen.

Homework: Make a symbol. If you would like to share your symbol, take a picture and send your picture to Debra.

18

Watch: Esther Saves Her People

Symbol: Scepter
Read: Scripture: 
Esther 4

Discussion Questions:

  • What did Modrecai do when he perceived what was done?

  • What did the Jews do in each of the provinces?

  • What did Mordecai request Esther to do?

  • What usually happened to a person who came into the king's court not invited?

  • What did Mordecai tell Esther would happen to her if she did nothing?

  • What question did Mordecai ask Esther?

  • How did Esther respond?

  • What was the promise?

  • What hard or scary things can you do that can help make other people’s lives better?

Prayer: Jesus Christ, thank you for making death less scary. Help me be brave so I can help other people. Amen.

Homework: Make a symbol. If you would like to share your symbol, take a picture and send your picture to Debra.

19

Watch: Isaiah's Prophecy of a Savior

Symbol: Sun
Read: Scripture: 
Isaiah 9:2–7

Discussion Questions:

  • What would those who walked in darkness see?

  • What would the child born unto them be called?

  • What was the promise?

  • How do you feel when it’s completely dark?

  • What about during the day, when it’s bright?

Prayer: God of light, I can’t wait for you to come. Would you turn the world’s darkness into light? Amen.

Homework: Make a symbol. If you would like to share your symbol, take a picture and send your picture to Debra.

20

Watch: Isaiah's Prophecy of the Second Coming

Symbol: Wolf and lamb
Read: Scripture: 
Isaiah 11:6–9

Discussion Questions:

  • What creatures are mentioned as having peace with one another?

  • What will fill the earth?

  • What was the promise?

  • When all the animals get along, which one do you want to play with?

Prayer: God, I’m excited for the day when we can have a parade with lions and bears. I pray that your kingdom would come soon! Amen.

Homework: Make a symbol. If you would like to share your symbol, take a picture and send your picture to Debra.

21

Watch: Jonah and the Whale

Symbol: Whale
Read: Scripture: 
Jonah 3:1–5

Discussion Questions:

  • Where did the Lord tell Jonah to go?

  • What did Jonah cry out to Nineveh

  • How did the people of Nineveh respond to Jonah's message?

  • What was the promise?

  • Why do you think the people of Nineveh believed God?

Prayer: God, help me to obey you so that other people can know you. What things do you want me to do to follow you? Amen.

Homework: Make a symbol. If you would like to share your symbol, take a picture and send your picture to Debra.

22

Watch: Daniel and the Lion's Den

Symbol: Lion
Read: Scripture: 
Daniel 6

Discussion Questions: 

  • To what position did Darius promote Daniel? (1-3)

  • What were the other presidents and princes not able to find in Daniel? (4-5)

  • What decree did the other presidents and princes get Darius to sign? (6-9)

  • What did Daniel do after the decree was signed? (10)

  • What did the king reluctantly do? (14-16)

  • What did the king believe? (16)

  • What did the king do that night? (18)

  • What did the king find the next morning? (19-23)

  • What did the king do to those who accused Daniel? (24)

  • What was the next decree that King Darius wrote? (25-27)

  • In what reigns did Daniel prosper? (28)

  • What was the promise?

  • When is a time that God helped you feel brave?

  • What is it like to feel God’s presence with you?

Prayer: God, thank you for being powerful and protecting me. Would you help me trust you? Amen.

Homework: Make a symbol. If you would like to share your symbol, take a picture and send your picture to Debra.

23

Watch: Prophecy of a Savior Born in Bethlehem

Symbol: City of Bethlehem
Read: Scripture: 
Micah 5:1–5

Discussion Questions: 

  • What did Micah prophesy regarding the birth of Jesus? (2, Matthew 2:4-5)

  • What was the promise?

  • How does it feel when a promise is broken?

  • Why can we trust God’s promises?

Prayer: Prince of Peace, you are a good and loving king. I can’t wait for you to come back. Amen.

Homework: Make a symbol. If you would like to share your symbol, take a picture and send your picture to Debra.

24

Watch: Elizabeth and Zechariah

Symbol: Praying hands
Read: Scripture: 
Luke 1:5–25

Discussion Questions: 

  • Which gospel writer gave the most detailed history regarding the time of Jesus’ birth? (1)

  • What is fruit worthy of repentance? (8)

  • What instructions did John give to the multitudes? (11)

  • What instructions did John give to the publicans? (13)

  • What instructions did John give to the soldiers? (14)

  • How did John consider himself in comparison to Jesus? (16)

  • Who did John say would baptize with the Holy Ghost? (16)

  • Luke’s genealogy begins with whom and ends with whom? (23,38)

  • How is the virgin birth safeguarded? (23)

  • How old was Jesus when he began his ministry? (23)

  • What was the promise?

  • If you were Zechariah, what things would you want to say?

  • Where do you notice God today?

Prayer: God, I’m calming down and trying to listen to you. What do you want to tell me? Amen.

Homework: Make a symbol. If you would like to share your symbol, take a picture and send your picture to Debra.

25

Watch: John the Baptist

Symbol: Baptism Shell
Read: Scripture: 
Matthew 3:1–6

Discussion Questions: 

  • Who prophesied in the Old Testament of the ministry of John the Baptist?  (3)

  • How was John clothed?

  • What did John eat?

  • What was John doing?

  • Why is John the Baptist included in the Jesse Tree?

  • What do you do before someone comes to your house?

  • How can you, like John the Baptist, be like a doorbell for Jesus?

Prayer: Lord, what parts of my heart are messy? Would you help me clean up and be ready for you to come? Amen.

Homework: Make a symbol. If you would like to share your symbol, take a picture and send your picture to Debra.

26

Watch: God Chooses Mary

Symbol: Virgin Mary
Read: Scripture: 
Luke 1:26–38

Discussion Questions: 

  • What was the significance of the widow to whom Elijah was sent and the leper cleansed in the days of Elisha? (24-27)

  • Why is Mary included in the Jesse Tree?

  • How did Mary feel about becoming Jesus’s mom?

  • What’s different about the world because she said yes?

Prayer: God, thanks for becoming a human being. Thanks for choosing to become one of us and for saving the world. Amen.

Homework: Make a symbol. If you would like to share your symbol, take a picture and send your picture to Debra.

27

Watch: Angel Appears to Joseph

Symbol: Angel of the Lord
Read: Scripture: 
Matthew 1:18–25

Discussion Questions: 

  • What appeared to Joseph?

  • What did the angel tell Joseph?

  • What was the purpose of the message from the angel?

  • Why is Joseph included in the Jesse Tree?

  • What things did Jesus learn from Joseph?

  • What can you learn from Joseph?

Prayer: God, Joseph reminds me that you can use me in amazing ways when I let you. What part do you want me to play in your story? Amen.

Homework: Make a symbol. If you would like to share your symbol, take a picture and send your picture to Debra.

28

Watch: Mary and Joseph Go to Bethlehem

Symbol: Sandals
Read: Scripture: 
Luke 2:1–5

Discussion Questions: 

  • Why did Joseph and Mary go to Bethlehem?

  • What happened while they were in Bethlehem?

  • Why is this story included in the Jesse Tree?

  • What will it be like when Jesus comes again?

Prayer: Jesus, I’m excited for you to come again. Will you help me be ready? Amen.

Homework: Make a symbol. If you would like to share your symbol, take a picture and send your picture to Debra.

29

Watch: Jesus is Born

Symbol: Baby in a Manger
Read: Scripture: 
Luke 2:6–21

Discussion Questions: 

  • When was Jesus born? (1-2)  (Note also Luke 1:5.)

  • How was the prophecy of the location of the birth of Jesus fulfilled? (4) (Micah 5:2)

  • Where was Jesus laid after he was born? (7)

  • What significance is "first born" son? (7)  (See Sections 63, 69, and 94.)

  • What did the angel say to the shepherds regarding Jesus? (11)

  • Where did the shepherds find Jesus? (16)

  • At what ceremony did Jesus receive his name? (21)

  • Why is this story included in the Jesse Tree?

  • Why did God choose to tell the shepherds about Jesus before anyone else?

Prayer: Jesus, we’re so glad you’ve come! Thank you for being born into our world. Thank you for loving us enough to come save us and live with us. Amen.

Homework: Make a symbol. If you would like to share your symbol, take a picture and send your picture to Debra.