Day 27: October 11, 2013
When I was a child, I participated in a 4-H program where I learned how to plant, nurture, and harvest strawberries. The strawberry plants had “runners” where new berries would emerge. If one is not careful, the strawberries could take over the garden fairly quickly.
The prophet proclaims “a shoot shall come out of the stump of Jesse, a branch shall grow out of his roots.” Isaiah is striking in his depiction of the tensions between violence, peace, destruction, and hope. What stands in its center is the child.
The shoots of humanity are full of violence, despair, abuse, and death. These are the branches in which we are accustomed to abide. The hope for our future, “the child,” forces us out of this logic of the world and to accept that a different kind of world is possible. A world where hopelessness does not infest the ground, but instead peace, and with peace, children who live to their full potential is possible.
God of peace, The ways of the world are not your ways; bring us to a new understanding of your will for humanity. Your prophet proclaims that future generations will not hurt the earth or destroy each other through knowledge of you. Lead us to make this vision a reality. Amen.
Rev. Dr. Christopher D. Rodkey
St. Paul’s United Church of Christ