Day 1 Advent – HOPE – Isaiah 11:1-10

1 hope

There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.

Death to Life, destruction to Resurrection – a promise no one living today would ignore. There is death and destruction all around us – from within and without, our lives are being attacked at every turn. To believe that out of death comes life – rising like Dumbledore’s phoenix from the ashes – is the challenge of hope.

Sometimes it is easier to think “one day God will makes all things new” but frankly to hold only that thought is to push hope far out into a future that belongs to some coming generation. It makes it seems like, for right now, all we will see is the destruction. If this is the case then I doubt I will be able to bear it.

Instead I believe God is working life out of death all around me. I believe in the advent of His first coming and the hope of His second coming but I also believe that between the two, Jesus is redeeming what is lost. He is Immanuel – God with us- present all around me. He is cultivating soil, planting seed and bearing fruit.

It is my job to partner with His work. I am to stare at the impossibly dead stumps and watch for green shoots. When one is discovered, like the NSB turtle nest watchers, I am to surround the area in prayer and do what I can to guard their way. I am to encourage the fruit that will come in time.

You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. (James 5:8)

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