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"A Dead Stump"

Read Isaiah 11:1-5.
There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and
a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.  Isaiah 11:1

We were so excited when we brought the Christmas tree home,
but it never went into the house until the next day. My Dad
knew the tree would never last unless it soaked up plenty of
sugar water. So he cut a few inches off the bottom and soaked
it in sugar water until the next night. I still recall holding in my
hands that piece of dead stump he had cut off. It was only an
inch or two high, but it was definitely dead. Today's reading
speaks about a dead tree stump, "There shall come forth a
shoot from the stump of Jesse."

Jesse was the father of King David and all his descendants who
ruled over Judah-the Southern Kingdom. When those kings
turned away from God to lead their people in the worship of false
idols, the Lord cut off their kingship and sent His people into
exile. The strong family tree was cut off and only a dead stump
remained. For centuries not a single king rose from that stump to
rule on their throne. All that could be seen was the dead stump
of the line of David.

But in the fullness of time a shoot began to grow out of that stump.
That shoot was Jesus Christ. He was born a baby and laid to
sleep in Bethlehem's manger. He didn't come to claim any earthly
kingdom as His own. Instead, he came as our King to battle our
enemies: Satan, sin, death, and hell.

Though He Himself was cut down on the cross, and His lifeless
body was laid in the tomb, Christ rose again from the grave with
power and great glory. Through Baptism He makes us alive to God
though we were dead in our sins. Through His Word He makes us
wise in the ways of His salvation, and in Holy Communion He gives
us His body and blood by which He paid for our sins and won our
redemption. Now He lives to guide us on our journey to our
heavenly home.


Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son as a tender
shoot out of a dead tree stump. He has saved us from our sins
and opened the Kingdom of heaven to us. Help us tell the whole
world of His wonderful salvation. In Jesus' Name.

(Lutheran Hour Ministries)

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