O Root of Jesse, standing as a sign among the peoples;
before you kings will shut their mouths,
to you the nations will make their prayer:
Come and deliver us, and delay no longer.
Today we are reminded that Jesus is connected to the line of David. One thing that always strikes me about Matthew’s geneology is that many of the people included are not who one might expect. There are prostitutes, murderers, adulterers, and all sorts of “interesting” people. But there is also the reminder that there is never a time to be without hope. The prophet Isaiah’s words were a reminder to the people that the Messiah would come,
But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. (Isaiah 11:1)
Roots are important in living a life of faith. They are the continual source of the things that give us life, and we know that even when a tree is cut down, if the roots are good, life will once again spring forth. These final days of Advent remind us to look to our roots. We are reminded that when we sin and as a result kill off some of our faith not to lose our hope for salvation but to return to God who is our source of forgiveness and hope.