Second Sunday of Advent: Stumps Bearing Fruit

By Angel L. Sullivan

2dAdventunderthesun“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse, from his roots a branch will bear fruit,” (Isaiah 11:1, NIV).  

These are the words written in the beginning verses of Isaiah.  As I read this verse from the prophet Isaiah, I could not help but to ponder on a stump bearing fruit. Have you ever looked at a stump?  Stumps are what is left after a tree has died and cut down. People often stub their toes on stumps, and if a stump is left in a person’s yard it is usually ground up and hauled away.  Stumps are thought to detract from a home’s landscape. But God says in this passage from Isaiah that a shoot will come up from a stump and bear fruit.

angel-advent-picSometimes we may see ourselves or our lives as a stump. We may feel as if we have no purpose, or that we are a nuisance to others, or that our life is in ruins. However, God has a way of looking at unexpected, disappointing moments in our lives–things that may appear dead and hopeless–and bring new life into them and into us.  The Advent season is a reminder that we have a savior born to us who gives us daily rest, wisdom, and understanding.  All we have to do is turn to him and trust him.  We have the assurance that, despite our shortcomings, he will not judge but through his mercy and grace Jesus will help us to continue towards righteousness.

God lets us know that through a tiny baby born to poor parents, from a town called Nazareth where “nothing good comes from” (John 1:46),  we are forever protected. In that day, God tells us, the root of Jesse will stand as a banner. All the peoples of all the nations will rally to him and his resting place will be glorious. God be praised.

AngelSullivan2013smThe Rev. Angel L. Sullivan is national president of American Baptist Women’s Ministries.


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