Two weeks ago I visited our old family church, in the far north of England. I was placing flowers by my parents’ gravestone, in front of memorials to my grandparents, great-grandparents and sundry uncles and aunts. But my eye was drawn, as it has often been, to the Jesse Window in the east end of the twelfth-century church.
“Jesse Windows”—a traditional medieval design in stained glass—display Jesus’ ancestry in the form of a spreading tree. The genealogy goes back a thousand years to King David, and then to David’s own father, Jesse of Bethlehem.