First Friday in Advent
Today’s Word: ‘Shoot’ as in… “A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.”
2020 seems to have been on fire since it began. Fires have ravaged several Western States with California being particularly hard hit. As of November 24, 2020, over 9,279 fires have burned 4,359,517 acres, which is more than 4% of the state’s roughly 100 million acres of land, making 2020 the largest wildfire season recorded in California’s modern history. But that isn’t the end of the story. We know from history that new life will emerge. From burned-out stumps, green shoots will reappear as new forests began taking root. From scorched prairies, new grasses will grow again. From poisoned rivers, lakes, and streams, new habitats will support new life.
The ancient prophet Isaiah still tells a similar story. We’re continually pointed toward the hope of new things to come!
“A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. The spirit of the LORD shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. His delight shall be in the fear of the LORD.”
Advent hope announces that from the scorched earth of our relational terrain comes the promise of new growth through renewed caring and serving. Advent hope promises that in spite of the bridges we’ve burned, the power and promise of forgiveness remain. Advent hope assures us that the damage done by heated, destructive arguments will be soothed by the cool water of the spirit of wisdom and understanding. Advent hope reminds us that in spite of the seeds of discontent and self-centeredness that choke the roots of healthy lives, the soil of our lives can be renewed. Advent hope assures us that even out of devastating loss in our lives comes the promise that we will be found.
How does the promise of something new rising out of something old give you hope today?