I love these first few verses of Isaiah 11:
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;Isaiah 11:1-3, 10 NIV
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—
and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.
… In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious.
Advent is the anticipation of completion, the fulfillment of time, and the glorious resting place. This is the “big” picture of time, the beginning and end known only to God.
God is at work in our world, drawing all nations and people groups to Himself. Jesus, the root, branch, and stump, is also the banner. That word in Hebrew is translated as a standard (a pole), a signal, and a distinguishing mark. It implies lifting or raising high. Jesus, the banner, establishes His kingdom and draws all nations to Himself. Luke reminds us that people will come from east and west and north and south and take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God.
You have unfurled a banner for those who revere You,
a signal to gather in safety out of the enemy’s reach.
So that Your treasured ones may be saved,
rescue us with Your right hand, and answer our pleas!
Psalm 60:4-5 Voice
Jesus is at work in our lives as well. We look forward to the glorious resting place and the completion of His work in our lives. We cling to the promise that He who began a good work in each of us will continue until the day of Christ Jesus!
This Advent season, let’s consider how we can welcome others into the kingdom. Who might you include at your table this month? Let’s raise His banner high praying that God will draw our friends and family to Himself!
After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice:
“Salvation belongs to our God,Revelation 7:9-10 NIV
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.”
We give thanks to You and tell of Your wonderful deeds. We rejoice today and sing Your praises. You reign forever, your throne established, ruling the world in righteousness and justice. We trust in Your name and look to You as our standard-bearer. This advent season, show us ways to share Your love with others. May we live inviting lives that point to You. Amen.