The Sprouting Stump

A glimpse into our Advent devotions: Fighting over who gets to light the candle, followed by the near burning of tiny fingers. A beautiful butchering of the names of Old Testament people and places, followed by a few silly applications that usually include someone saying, “Bob” for no apparent reason.

We are trying, and I am so thankful that God can do things even with our distracted devotions. I know He has been using them in my own heart.

A few days back, Jeremiah 23: 5-6 was our reading.

“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as a king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In His days Judah will be saved,  and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: The Lord is our Righteousness.”

The promised Branch reminded me of Isaiah 53:2, our reading from the previous day.

And he grew up before Him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground.

A tender shoot pushing through a decayed stump.  The image resonated with me.

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A few backs, while driving in the middle of nowheresville, CA, I saw something that arrested me. A dead and fallen tree trunk out of which were budding the most beautiful Bougainvillia bush. A budding stump. What a perfect image of Christ’s death being the source of our life.

My heart and life often resemble rotten stumps, places of ruin. Yet, Christ promises to cause our stumpy places to sprout with His life.

I pray that this poem reminds you of the shocking death of Christ, the righteous Branch, to bring life to our stump souls.

The Sprouting Stump

From a little lower than angels
To stumps eaten by decay,
Humanity’s hope had fallen
To darkness and disarray.

Even the vine of His people,
Whom He had daily tended,
Fruitless, blighted and barren,
Beyond what could be mended.

Then rising from the ruin,
A tender shoot emerged.
In the birth of a child,
All prophecies converged.

He was the vine we weren’t,
Obedient and faithful in all.
God’s life sap pulsed in Him,
Under His smile He grew tall.

At the height of his potential,
The world at his discretion,
The vibrant vine, the Son divine,
Absorbed all our infection.

The long-promised shoot
Choked out by sin’s abyss.
The vine violated and vile.
Was ever a branch like this?

Yet from His expiration,
The life vine now has spread,
He sowed seeds of new life
As He rose up from the dead.

The stumps now are sprouting,
With hope does humanity hum.
The Righteous Branch reigns,
And He has a green thumb!

 

 

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