*This was first posted December 13, 2008.
I love the analogy of this verse to our Christmas tree tradition in that it refers to stumps and branches.
In this verse, the prophet Isaiah foretells hope which will come from a stump. As I sit and enjoy my Christmas tree, I never look at the stump. I am always focused on all the bright lights and beautiful decorations -- the fruit. However, everything on the tree comes from the base that Isaiah refers to as a "stump."
Why does he use the word "stump." I have had plenty of trees cut down in my yard and I am left with this annoying stump. There is nothing to it. There is no chance that branches will ever grow from it again.
However, Isaiah is telling us that "yes" branches will grow from Jesse's stump! And not only will branches grow, but fruit will be produced! Yes, there IS hope! That hope is Jesus Christ our Lord!
This verse is also the basis of the "Tree of Jesse" or "Jesse Tree." One year when my boys were small, we actually utilized a Jesse Tree. I bought a small tree that sat on top of the microwave and some small ornaments for the tree. Each day we read a devotional together and then added an ornament to the tree. I found this cute example online. The photos could even be the ornaments. I may have to find my Jesse Tree to remember exactly what we did.