Advent Devotion, 12/5/22
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 him—the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and 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 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 cobra’s den, and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest. 9 They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with 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 resting place will be glorious.
This passage presents an image of new life springing up from an injured stump. This naturally leads us to connect this to the birth of Jesus. But in reading verses 6-7, the author claims that this new life will bring unprecedented peace and harmony. We clearly haven’t seen this happen yet.
After wrestling with this passage and praying for the Spirit’s direction, I believe this is the complete picture of Christ’s purpose. Unprecedented peace and harmony await us when Christ returns. It will be as if the entire earthly creation will be reordered and made whole.
Since the fall, we have lived in a broken world, and this makes it difficult to imagine a wholly restored creation. It’s refreshing to focus on the completion of Christ’s purpose and live in the hope we have for his return.
Have you ever worried that Christ’s return would happen when you weren’t ready (Not before my daughter’s graduation, not before I can reach my lifelong goal of…?)?
We often get distracted through our day-to-day struggles and lose sight of the glorious future we have in Christ.
Spend some time imagining what it might be like without sin, death, strife, and our usual worries. Imagine how glorious it will be to dwell with Christ in harmony. Now take a moment to contemplate the things you are holding onto and wrapped up in, that distract you from God’s plan.
Precious father, forgive us for the things we try to hold onto. Help us to let go and focus on your plan for us. Thank you for the gift of your son, to cover the multitude of times we fall short. Guide and direct our lives, so we can fulfill your mission. Help us be your hands and feet, to minister to a hurting and lost world. Amen.
ADVENT PLAYLIST SONG
“God in Flesh Our Hope Divine,” The Brilliance, “Advent Collection”