Isaiah 11:1-2 A shoot will grow up from the stump of Jesse; a branch will sprout from his roots. The Lord’s spirit will rest upon him, a spirit of wisdom and understanding, a spirit of planning and strength, a spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord.
The following was originally found on a blog hosted by Rev. Katie Snipes Lancaster. You will find posts for each day of Advent written by people from many different faith traditions. Click here to read the blog each day. I was honored to have been asked to add to this collection of writings.
Hope is resilient.
I came home from work one afternoon to find our white birch tree split in half and lying on our fence. Sadly, it was time to say goodbye. We hired someone to cut it down and haul it away. In one afternoon, the tree that once stood tall and proud in our backyard was reduced to nothing more than a stump – a sad reminder of what once was.
But hope is resilient.
Isaiah writes the words of prophecy found in our text during a time when Israel had fallen from within and from without. According to Isaiah, they had lost their direction and had been destroyed by their enemies. What had once been seen standing tall and proud was reduced to nothing more than a stump – a sad reminder of what once was.
Into what seemed to be a dire and hopeless situation, Isaiah spoke these words, “A shoot will grow up from the stump of Jesse; a branch will sprout from his roots.” From the stump of the once majestic tree was to come a leader in the line of David who would return Israel to the way of the Lord. A leader characterized by wisdom and understanding; planning and strength; knowledge and fear of the Lord.
Yes. Hope is resilient.
Out of the stump of what used to be a beautiful white birch tree now stands a testimony to the resiliency of hope. A tiny shoot began to grow a year after the birch tree was removed and is now a glorious 25 foot mulberry tree.
Out of death, life. Out of darkness, light. Out of despair, hope.
The message of Advent…
and together we wait.
--- Rev. Brian Shivers, Indianapolis, IN.