The Jesse Tree
First Saturday of Advent: Jacob and His Twelve Sons
A Reading from the Book of Genesis (28:10-15; 35:22b-26)
“Jacob departed from Beer-sheba and proceeded toward Haran. When he came upon a certain shrine, as the sun had already set, he stopped there for the night. Taking one of the stones at the shrine, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep at that spot. Then he had a dream: a stairway rested on the ground, with its top reaching to the heavens; and God’s messengers were going up and down on it. And there was the LORD standing beside him and saying: ‘I, the LORD, am the God of your forefather Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you are lying I will give to you and your descendants. These shall be as plentiful as the dust of the earth, and through them you shall spread out east and west, north and south. In you and your descendants all the nations of the earth shall find blessing. Know that I am with you; I will protect you wherever you go, and bring you back to this land. I will never leave you until I have done what I promised you.'” …
“The sons of Jacob were now twelve. The sons of Leah: Reuben, Jacob’s first-born, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun; the sons of Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin; the sons of Rachel’s maid Bilhah: Dan and Naphtali; the sons of Leah’s maid Zilpah: Gad and Asher. These are the sons of Jacob who were born to him in Paddan-aram.”
God of our fathers, you have blessed our families with children, and our children with children. You reign over each generation as a guiding light, a way of truth, a path to salvation. As You have followed us through the years with tender care and a loving hand, may we follow You always, and pass on to our children the wisdom of Your laws and commands and the hope we have in the promises of the new covenant given to us in Your Son. Come, Lord Jesus! Amen.
Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.