Merry Christmas, readers! Thank you so much for sticking with me this past year. I’m looking forward to many more exciting things to come in 2017 — chief of which is the birth of my daughter, Lydia! I pray you’re enjoying this day as we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that as gifts are exchanged and coffee is sipped and laughter echoes in your homes, you remember that your Savior was born in a stall with purposes of dying on a tree, for you. And instead of reciting one of the more “traditional” Christmas passages, below is from the prophet Isaiah, speaking of the “Root of Jesse,” the promised Messiah.
There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear, but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his loins. The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples — of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious. (Is 11:1–10)
Soli Deo Gloria! Amen.