Sunday, November 27, 2016

First Sunday of Advent: A Candle of Persistent Promise

LEFC Family Advent Readings: “A Shoot from the Stump of Jesse”
Isaiah 11 :: November 27, 2016
Week #1: Persistent Promise

“Advent” means “coming.” Christmas is coming. Jesus has come and is coming again.

During this year’s Advent season, we will be reflecting together on the ancient promise of the Messiah revealed in the prophecy of Isaiah chapter 11. Isaiah predicts:


Our first candle is a candle of persistent promise.

Isaiah’s prophecy anticipates a time when all of the kings of Israel have been cut down to size. As kings, they were all disappointing and never lived up to their potential.

These kings failed. They did not lead the nation into covenant faithfulness, and their people suffered for it. David’s royal dynasty had declined until it was almost as good as dead.

But in this bleak time, God was still at work. He was still keeping His promises to His people.

Isaiah says that the Lord will startle everyone and bring a glorious new ruler out of the family line of Jesse. Though every son of David so far has been a sad disappointment, God’s promise remains persistent.

The Lord will bring a powerful king out of humble origins. A tiny shoot will poke up from the stump of Jesse and then grow into a mighty tree. From modest roots, a magnificent Branch will one day bear flourishing fruit.

Sometimes it seems as though God’s promises will never come to pass. May this candle remind us that God always keeps His promises, often in surprising ways which we would never have anticipated.

His promises are persistent, and so should be our faith.