Jesse Tree Outlines for December 12th-18th(adapted for our toddlers from the RCA website and The Glorious Coming. The symbols and patterns used below are copyrighted by Reformed Church Press)
December 12th: God Chooses a King
1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV) But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."
In Bible days, if you wanted to be king, "You did not have to be the richest or the cleverest (although that was always nice). You had to look like a king, which meant you had to be the tallest and the strongest. So you could carry the longest swords and biggest armor and defeat everyone."(1) Most of the grown-ups who saw David thought he was just a kid who tended the sheep, but while David was still a child God chose him to be a king. God's servant Samuel went to Bethlehem (David's hometown), poured oil on David's head, and anointed him as the future king of Israel. God chose David to be king because he was getting his people ready for an even greater King who was coming. He would not look like much at first. He would be born in a tumble-down stable in Bethlehem. Father, help us to remember that you choose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. Help us not to brag about our bigness but only about Jesus. Amen.
(1) From "The teeny-weeny... true king" in The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones (Zonderkidz, 2008), page 118.
December 13th: King David
Psalm 23:1 (NIV) The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
David was chosen by God to be king when he was a boy, he didn't become king until he was thirty years old. David was a good king because God guided him and because David listened to God. Being a king is an important job. Kings must be wise and strong. They must do what is good for the people of their land. Sometimes David fought wars and made other hard choices, because kings must protect their people like shepherds protect their sheep. King David knew that God was his good shepherd. Lord, help us to trust you as our provider and protector. Watch over us and protect us, holy God. You are our true king.
December 14th: The Coming Son
Isaiah 9:2 (NIV) The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.
Many, many years before Jesus was born, people called prophets would bring God's message to the people of Israel. The prophets reminded the people of what God wanted them to do. God wanted them to be good and kind to others. The prophets told the people to worship only the one true God.The prophets also reminded people that God had promised a savior. The prophets also gave the people hope that no matter how bad things might be here on earth, God had not forgotten them. God was going to send a child who would grow to be the world's savior.
December 15th: God Sends Fire
1 Kings 18:39 When all the people saw this, they fell on their faces and cried, "The LORD--He is God! The LORD--He is God!
The people of Israel had forgotten to worship God. Instead, they were worshiping a false god named Baal. God sent his prophet Elijah to remind the people about the true God. But the people didn't want to listen to Elijah. So Elijah offered to show the people God's power. He prepared a sacrifice, and the prophets of Baal prepared a sacrifice. The prophets of Baal prayed that their god would send fire to burn the sacrifice, but of course the false god did nothing. But when Elijah prayed, God sent fire. The Israelites had forgotten God, until God showed them a miracle. God still does miracles today, but we need to remember God even if we don't see miracles. Our God is a great God and the only true God. Father, help us to praise you as the only true God.
December 16th: Wolf and Lamb
Isaiah 11:6 (NIV) The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.
Before Adam and Eve sinned, all of the animals got along with each other. There was no danger. God created a peaceful kingdom, but sin changed things. Someday God will restore peace to the world. There will be no hunger or fear, and all of the animals will get along again. They will not hurt each other, and we will not hurt them. In a peaceful world, all of God's children will be at peace too. There will be no more war and no more pain. What a wonderful world that will be! Father, we thank you for sending Jesus as a little child. Come Lord Jesus and bring peace to your creation.
December 17th: The Little Town of Bethlehem
Micah 5:2 (NIV) But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.
God does things that surprise us. God chose the small town of Bethlehem for the birthplace of Jesus. In Bible times, most rulers in important families were born in bigger cities, but Jesus was born into an ordinary family in a small village. God chose Bethlehem many years before Jesus was born. The prophet Micah wrote that Bethlehem would be the place where the Savior would be born. But even so, the town of Bethlehem wasn't ready for the birth of Jesus. There was no room for Mary or Joseph in the inn. There was no place prepared for God's Son to be born. The day when we celebrate Jesus' birth will soon be here. Lord, come to us. Make our hearts ready.
December 18th: Daniel
Daniel 6:26b-27 God is the living God and he endures forever. His kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end. He rescues and saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.
God wants to be the most important thing in our lives--more important than our family, or toys, Christmas presents, and even more important than our own lives. Daniel understood that. He worshiped and prayed to God even though it might cost him everything, even his own life. It was against the law for Daniel to worship God, but Daniel knew that God is the only true God, and he would not stop worshiping God. Daniel was punished for breaking the law. He was put in a pit with lions. But God protected Daniel from becoming the lions’ dinner. He sent an angel to shut the lions' mouth. People learned of God’s power because of Daniel, and many others worshiped God because Daniel had trusted and honored God. Lord, help us to always obey and honor you.