"A shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse." Is 11:1
When Isaiah promises that a new shoot will come from the stump of Jesse, he reminds all believers that God can make something extraordinary from nothing. At the same time, the prophet is not speaking about a miracle in a classic sense. Rather, Isaiah wants us to remember what happens often in the natural world. There are trees with so much inner life that even when they seem dead, we can take one of their broken branches, stick it in the ground, water it often and before long it takes root and becomes a young tree.
Clearly, a branch of Jesse’s tree, even when it seems dead and lifeless after its exile in Babylon, is stronger than we think. God will plant it again so that his faithful followers might have life and believe in his promises.
The challenge to believe that God wants to do something great and new in us, even when we are tired and feeling ragged, is uplifting. God’s love is enduring and, like a broken branch, stronger than we can imagine. We have only to plant and water it and it will take us to Christmas.
Plant a good deed in someone’s heart and let God do the rest.
Are there “miracles” in nature that remind you of God’s love?