December 4, 2018

Isaiah 11:1-10

This seems too much to hope for. A world of peace. A gentle, just world filled with the knowledge of God "as the waters cover the sea". After all has been razed by ambition, hatred, greed - the countless things that can destroy life, a tiny green shoot appears. Though there is desolation to the horizon, hope is not lost. The root still lives. Life starts again.

Although this is a Christmas reading, this really seems more like a resurrection story. If you back up and read 10:27b-34, that makes sense. This promise grows out of desolation. We celebrate the birth at this time of year, but there is really no way to separate the joy of the birth from the agony of Good Friday and the triumph of Easter. The story that begins each Christmas is a story of hope born, hope lost, and hope triumphant. Life that springs forth from death and destruction. From defeat. From hopelessness.

Amid the busy-ness of the season, over all the noise, through the pain of another holiday without a loved one, in spite of cynicism and fatigue, spring forth again from the root, Holy One. Against all odds. Be born in us anew.

- Jim Zamata