Archive for December 11th, 2021

Reflection on the Palm Tree


Written by Lisa Appelo, a contemporary author. This is an excerpt from her book “Countdown to Christmas.”

Do you have any stumps from old trees in your yard? Our yard is full of towering oak trees and every now and again, we have a tree surgeon come out to trim up dead branches and cut down any old, weak trees. Last year, one of our granddaddy oak trees was cut down to a stump. Do you know what happened a few weeks later? New green shoots started growing right out of that old stump. That’s the picture the prophet Isaiah uses. Isaiah prophesied about 700 years before Jesus was ever born and foretold that a new shoot would come from Jesse. To understand Isaiah’s prophecy about stumps and shoots we first need to know a little about Jesus’ family tree.

Jesus descended from King David, the great king who reigned over Israel. In fact, both Mary and Joseph were in the line of King David. King David’s father was named Jesse. For several hundreds of years, one of King David’s royal descendants sat on the throne of Israel, and then Judah. But the last Davidic king was taken prisoner by the Babylonians and his sons were killed. Israel then went through a series of foreign rulers like the Babylonians and Persians, and Romans, and King David’s royal line looked dead – like an old, rotting stump. But out of what looked like a dead royal line, God brought a new shoot. This shoot was the Messiah, Jesus, who would be a new king. He didn’t rule like King David did. Jesus didn’t have a palace or throne or royal robes on earth. Jesus’ kingdom is a heavenly kingdom, and He left all the glory of a king to come to earth as a baby. Add a palm tree or plant to your nativity scene to represent the shoot that came from the stump of Jesse.

SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 11:1-10

MUSIC VIDEO: Lo! How a Rose E’er Blooming

Performed by Frederica von Stade

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