Sometimes hope is hard to come by. The harder we search for it, the more elusive it is.
This seven part series leads us into and through Advent by inviting us to stillness. In that stillness, we may begin to hear hope’s song.
Hope for the Messiah
Read: Isaiah 11:1-5
He shall not judge by what his eye sees…. (Isaiah 11:3b)
Appearances can be deceiving. Each spring I wonder whether the Rose of Sharon in my back yard has survived the winter. Long after other trees and shrubs have leapt into bloom, it stands leafless—and to all appearances—lifeless. Then, long about mid-May, green buds begin to displace the dead seed pods. By mid July it is transformed into a breath-taking display of purple blossoms and verdant leaves.
Isaiah presents us with a similar picture in this passage. From an apparently dead stump a surprising shoot bursts forth.
It seems like an odd way to introduce the Messiah. Yet, looking back at his description through the lens of Jesus Christ, it makes miraculous sense. And so we sing of this surprising savior:
O come, thou Rod of Jesse’s stem;
from every foe deliver them
that trust thy mighty power to save,
and give them victory o’er the grave.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
shall come to thee, O Israel.
Prayer: Come to your world, Immanuel. Help us to see it as you do—a world for which you were willing to die. Then with new eyes, help us to love and live more faithfully.