The Hope of Advent: Day Four
“There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear, but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his lins. The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hold of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”
– Isaiah 11:1-9
I don’t even think I need to say that much about this passage, just take the time to read it again. There are few passages that swell my soul with hope like this one. The hope of peace, of knowledge, of wisdom, of holy judgement is something that can almost be overwhelming to comprehend during a cultural season of busy-ness. And it’s not like it’s a bad busy-ness, but in the midst of everything that is going on, Christ enters the story with righteousness, providing hope for a people lost in darkness. These opposing forces will live with a new found harmony and that is such a deep reminder for me when I look at the world around us. From the rich and poor, the oppressors and the oppressed, the popular to the alone – all will be united and made whole through this root of Jesse.
Today I find my hope in this ancient promise, this ancient narrative that was always written into the story of God’s people.