1A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
2The spirit of the Lord shall 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.
3His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide by what his ears hear;
4but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
5Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist,
and faithfulness the belt around his loins.
6The wolf shall live with the lamb,
the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
and a little child shall lead them.
7The cow and the bear shall graze,
their young shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,
and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.
9They will not hurt or destroy
on all my holy mountain;
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
10On that day the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples; the nations shall inquire of him, and his dwelling shall be glorious.
One blessing in Advent is the freedom to admit that the world has a long way to go toward promoting and sustaining the life that God desires for all creation.
Unrest in our cities. Anger in our electorate. Violence among nations and neighbors. Fear among races and religions. Disrespect between genders. Hunger around the globe. Overuse of the environment.
The world has a long way to go toward promoting the life that God desires for all creation … and … it has an advocate in God whose infinite regard preceded creation itself and, in Christ raised from the dead, persists with us now toward vitality for all.
Thanks be to God for the coming into the world again and again through the power of the Holy Spirit, active in lives of those who embrace God’s promise of vitality by promoting that vitality for others through the life-giving words and deeds of their every day lives.