Here is a brief retelling of the story from Scripture which gives the Jesse Tree its name. (If any of you have read Star of Wonder, you’ll note that the young shepherd is named Jesse, just like the keeper of sheep from ancient times.) This is what you will read when you first plant your Jesse Tree and light the candle:
This is a story of Jesus' family tree. Long ago, the prophet Isaiah told the ancient Hebrew people that a new branch would grow from an old tree stump. Isaiah said that this new branch, this new life, would come from the family of Jesse, a farmer and keeper of sheep who lived near Bethlehem. David, Israel's most famous king, was Jesse's youngest son, and Jesus was born hundreds of years later into David's family of descendants. The prophet Isaiah wrote:
A shoot will spring from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him.
All the "ornaments" that we make to hang on our Jesse Trees come from different stories in the Bible that happened before Jesus was born and so they are part of what make up his family tree.