EDITOR'S NOTE: While Advent officially runs from December 2-24 in 2018, Crosswalk will proudly present one Christmas-themed devotional per day during an Advent season running from the day after Thanksgiving through New Year's Eve. Check back every day for a new devotional reflection about what the Incarnation - the coming near of our Savior - means for us still today. And Merry Christmas!
An Advent Prayer to Our Prince of Peace
by Lisa Appelo
“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; 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.” Isaiah 11:1-2 [NIV]
This passage talks about stumps and shoots. We have several big oak trees in our yard and when one of them started endangering the house, we had it cut all the way down to a stump. A few months later? New green shoots with glossy green leaves began growing right out of that stump.
That’s the picture that the prophet Isaiah uses. Seven hundred years before Jesus was ever born, Isaiah prophesied that a Messiah would come from the root of Jesse. Jesse was the father of King David, an ancestor of both Mary and Joseph. While nearly all of King David’s royal line would be wiped out, God promised a Messiah would come from the stump of Jesse.
Out of what looked like a dead royal line -- when a pagan, Roman government rather than a Hebrew king ruled over Israel -- God brought about that new shoot: the Messiah – Jesus.
Jesus, didn’t rule like King David with an earthly palace or majestic throne or royal robes conquering enemy nations through a mighty army. Instead, Jesus came in poverty and humility, to reveal a heavenly kingdom and to conquer the curse of sin through his own death.
O Father, we praise you that before the foundation of the world You chose Jesus, our Messiah, to come to earth and show us the Way to the heavenly kingdom and to be the Way to the heavenly kingdom. We thank you for making room for us who are redeemed in Your heavenly Kingdom.
Jesus, we worship you as King of Kings and Lord of lords. You are my King. You have rule over my heart and my life, my thoughts and time and goals. I bow to You only and give you full and free reign over my life. Help me not to grip anything so tightly that I am unwilling to release it to You. You are a just King; our Prince of Peace. Help me to desire Your kingdom above that of my own making and bow to Your will above my own.
Holy Spirit, lead me in the ways of the heavenly kingdom. Teach me wisdom from above and guide me in truth. Help me to have eyes that see and ears that hear all that God has for me. Help me to know the Lord, to fully understand His might, to fear turning away from Him and to know His grace.
We love you Lord. With all of our heart, all of our soul, all of our mind and all of our strength we love you. We lavish you with our worship. We come to adore You today. Amen.
Then let us all with one accord
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord
That hath made Heaven and earth of nought
And with his blood mankind has bought.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!