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Branch, Stump of Jesse

A visual symbol that can be placed on the cover of service bulletins, within the written liturgy, or on a large screen display.

Black and white .jpeg image for download.

Description of Branch, Stump of Jesse

The shoot growing from the stump of Jesse is a well-known Old Testament symbol of the promised Messiah. Here, at the center of the biblical account, Scripture uses the symbol of a tree to explain the profound mystery of life, death, and our need for renewed life. Advent is a time to focus on the past, present, and future aspects of this salvation story and the glorious promise made possible through the coming of the Lord. To reflect this, the image background turns from dark into light while the overall tone points to the coming suffering amidst joyful renewal.

Scripture References

  • Numbers 24:17a
  • Isaiah 11:1-3
  • John 1:14

Occasions for Use

  • Advent
  • Proclaiming the Word
  • Thanksgiving
  • Pentecost
  • Funerals
  • Easter
  • Baptism

The image is an original linoleum block print resulting from a printmaking process in which an image is drawn on a block of wood covered with a thin layer of linoleum, and then hand-carved to expose areas that will be white. Ink is rolled onto the block, covering the surface not cut away. Paper made from the mulberry tree is laid on top and hand rubbed with a Japanese barren or wooden spoon. In transferring the ink to the paper the resulting image is a reflection of the design placed on the block. It first appeared in the book Visuals for Worship (Faith Alive Christian Resources, 2006) which is no longer in print.

When using the image please include the following acknowledgment: “Linoleum block print by Elizabeth Steele Halstead."