December 2, 2019

For full passage click: Isaiah 11:1-5 … “A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.” vs. 1

In recent years some families have begun to use Jesse trees as a part of their Advent activity. The tree is multi-branched, often bare of leaves, and each day a new decoration representing some biblical event or person is attached to a branch. It has become an alternative or a worthy addition to the traditional Advent wreath. While this use of the Jesse tree is relatively new, it actually has a long history. In the Middle Ages it was a way to picture the family tree of Jesus as

found in the Gospel genealogies, and to show how Isaiah’s prophecy had been fulfilled. Jesse was the father of David, the greatest king of Israel, and the family tree proved that Jesus was in the Davidic line. It was for early Christians the much-needed proof that Jesus had all the required messianic credentials. The image of the shoot emerging from a stump is familiar and powerful, and speaks to the potency of the life-force in all parts of the created world. What God has begun simply cannot be stymied or canceled out. That which appears to be an ending often becomes the seed of a new beginning. What happened in Jesus had been in the works for a long time, and that’s the way life in Christ continues to be. The light passes from one generation to the next, and nothing can extinguish it!

Thought for the Day: What importance does my ancestry have?