Monday, 17 December 2007

The Jesse Tree is the retelling of the Christmas Story ... right from the Dawn of Creation in the Bible ... from the first page of the Bible.
Each day onto a bare branch of a tree, symbols are hung to remind everyone of the story and to aid memory of the bigger Bible theme.

(The symbols are only suggestions)
December 1 Creation: Gen. 1:1-31; 2:1-4 Symbols: sun, moon, stars, animals, earth
December 2 Adam and Eve: Gen. 2:7-9, 18-24 Symbols: tree, man, woman
December 3 Fall of Man: Gen. 3:1-7 and 23-24 Symbols: tree, serpent, apple with bite
December 4 Noah: Gen. 6:5-8, 13-22; 7:17, 23, 24; 8:1, 6-22 Symbols: ark, animals, dove, rainbow
December 5 Abraham: Gen. 12:1-3 Symbols: torch, sword, mountain
December 6 Isaac: Gen. 22:1-14 Symbols: bundle of wood, altar, ram in bush
December 7 Jacob: Gen. 25:1-34; 28:10-15 Symbols: kettle, ladder
December 8 Joseph: Gen. 25:1-34; 28:10-15 Symbols: bucket, well, silver coins, tunic
December 9 Moses: Ex. 2:1-10 Symbols: baby in basket, river and rushes
December 10 Samuel: 1 Sam. 3:1-18 Symbols: lamp, temple
December 11Jesse: 1 Sam. 16:1-13 Symbols: crimson robe, shepherd's staff
December 12 David: 1 Sam. 17:12-51 Symbols: slingshot, 6-pointed star
December 13 Solomon: 1 Kings 3:5-14, 16-28 Symbols: scales of justice, temple, two babies and sword
December 14 Joseph: Matt. 1:18-25 Symbols: hammer, saw, chisel, angle
December 15 Mary: Matt. 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38 Symbols: lily, crown of stars, pierced heart
December 16 John the Baptist: Mark 1:1-8 Symbols: shell with water, river

On December 17, the Church begins to intensify the preparation for Christmas with the use of the "O" Antiphons during the Liturgy of the Hours. The symbols for the Jesse Tree from December 17 to 23 are based on the "O" Antiphons.

As early as the 8th century, the seven "Great Antiphons," or "Great O's" were sung in the monasteries during Advent vespers before and after the "Magnificat." Each antiphon (a verse sung responsively between two groups) began with the letter "O" followed by a salutation with one of the biblical names for Christ.
These salutations were O Sapientia (Wisdom), O Adonai (Lord), O Radix Jesse (Root of Jesse), O Clavis David (Key of David), O Oriens (Orient), O Rex Gentium (King of the Gentiles), and O Emmanuel (God with us).

December 17 Jesus is Wisdom: (Ecclesiasticus in old Bibles) 24:2; Wisdom 8:1 Symbols: oil lamp, open book
December 18 Jesus is Lord: Ex. 3:2; 20:1 Symbols: burning bush, stone tablets
December 19 Jesus is Flower of Jesse: Isaiah 11:1-3 Symbols: flower, plant with flower
December 20 Jesus is Key of David: Isaiah 22:22 Symbols: key, broken chains
December 21 Jesus is the Radiant Dawn: Psalm 19:6-7 (in older Bibles this will be Psalm 18) Symbols: sun rising or high in sky
December 22 Jesus is King of the Gentiles: Psalm 2:7-8; Ephesians 2:14-20 Symbols: crown, scepter
December 23Jesus is Emmanuel: Isaiah 7:14; 33:22 Symbols: tablets of stone, chalice and host
December 24 Jesus is Light of the World: John 1:1-14 Symbols: candle, flame, sun


Blue homespun and the bend of my breast keep warm this small hot naked star fallen to my arms.
( who have had so far to come.)
Now nearness satisfies the body of God sweetly.
Quiet he lies whose vigor hurled a universe.
He sleeps whose eyelids have not closed before.His breath (so light it seems no breath at all) once ruffled the dark deeps to sprout a world.
Charmed by doves' voices,the whisper of straw, he dreams,hearing no music from his other spheres.
Breath, mouth, ears, eye she is curtailed who overflowed all skies,all years.
Older than eternity, now he is new.
Now native to earth as I am, nailed to my poor planet, caught that I might be free, blind in my womb to know my darkness ended,brought to this birth for me to be new-born,and for him to see me mended I must see him torn.


Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Nant Gwynant valley - acrylic on canvas

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The valley of Nant Gwynant above the town of Beddgelert in North Wales.
I took his image from a photograph and then changed the weather to reflect the exciting changes that can happen so quickly in this area of Wales. I have also added in flooded fields which is a common thing in many parts of Wales at this time of year.
This area is great for a quick walk or a tougher trek. Last time we went into this area they were having trouble tackling an invasion of rhododendron taking over every hillside.


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