The Branch From Jesse
1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on himâ€”
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of power,
the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD –
3 and he will delight in the fear of the LORD.
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
or decide by what he hears with his ears;
4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
5 Righteousness will be his belt
and faithfulness the sash around his waist.
6 The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling [a] together;
and a little child will lead them.
7 The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
8 The infant will play near the hole of the cobra,
and the young child put his hand into the viper’s nest.
9 They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD
as the waters cover the sea.
10 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious.
Christmas season starts in earnest now, we anticipate the good things that God promises and yet understand that we must wait with patience. It is so hard to wait sometimes! Time just seems to stretch out and everything seems to slow down when we must wait, but really time is moving on, we are approaching our anticipated hope much sooner than we know… and that is why we prepare. We want to be ready, we don’t want to miss anything, and we don’t want anything lacking. that is why Advent is more than a trial run for Christmas celebration. Our lives are more than a trial run for eternity, it is all an interlocked and meaningful part of entering into promises that will make the waiting and the work in preparing as though it were a moment… and worth it all in the joyous opening of the gifts of God in our lives.
Christmas is about gifts and giving, but little is embodied in what we seem to think: buying stuff, eating stuff, and getting stuff.
Today , consider the promises Isaiah saw and foretold:
Perhaps that is the contentment we seek…more than the gold chains and glittery baubles, name brand clothes, and gourmet calories that pack in around our hips and bellies. Maybe we might be more satisfied with God’s kind of gifts? Let’s think about this at the beginning of our festive season.
I think I want to laugh more, smile more, and to cultivate this in others. I think I want to rest more in the confidence that God gives, and be at peace with His peace. I think I want to read the scriptures with my children today, sing a song, and light a candle. I want to hope today. A few minutes of this could change my world, and the world of those with me… and maybe the light that shines through us could change the larger world. Just a little.
The sprout from the stump… it didn’t seem like much. But maybe our understanding of appearances is not quite what it should be.