Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot,
yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root.
And the Spirit of the Lord will 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.
He will delight in obeying the Lord.
David’s family has been reduced to a stump! Can anything good come out of it? It looks too far gone, maybe disintegrating in parts and a little bit rotten. The good news is God’s into broken families and bringing new life to them. I don’t know what your family is like. Whatever, it looks or feels like, God has a plan that means good fruit is possible and God wants to work through you and your family line.
The prophet Isaiah having peered into deep time and glimpsed the enormity of God’s agenda heralds a new life from an ancient family line. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him and will equip him in every way. Advent is about being ready and awake to the coming of Jesus. In this season we celebrate the first coming of Jesus, receive again the gift of God that is Emmanuel – God with us and look forward to the day of Jesus’ return, the second advent. The spirit of advent is for life and not just for Christmas!
Henri Nouwen writes ‘The small child of Bethlehem, the unknown man of Nazareth, the rejected preacher, the naked man on the cross, he asks for my full attention. The work of our salvation takes place in the midst of a world that continues to shout, scream, and overwhelm us with its claims and promises.’
As you prepare for Christmas, how can you be awake to what God is doing in your family and friends? There is much to overwhelm us, but the Spirit of the Lord gives us the same things he gave Christ.
What promises do you need to hold on to and how do you need the Spirit of the Lord to rest on you and your family this Christmas? Open a journal and write them down. Reflect on them later in the day to remind yourself.