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Thought for the day
1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
2 The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him –
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord –
3 and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
or decide by what he hears with his ears;
4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
5 Righteousness will be his belt
and faithfulness the sash round his waist.
6 The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling[a] together;
and a little child will lead them.
7 The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
8 The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
9 They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
Since moving to Hove, Clare and I have been trying our hands at gardening. Not anything spectacular but just your average kind of stuff. (It’s amazing to find a hobby that we can do together that doesn’t require a babysitter). One thing that always surprises me with gardening is how much certain plants can be cut back and still survive. In fact for some it’s an absolute requirement for new growth and tasty fruit to come through.
The promise that Isaiah shares in chapter 11 is that though the royal line of King David will be heavily cut back to a stump, there will be a new shoot that arises. This branch will be a good one, one that bears much fruit. Isaiah tells us that this branch from the line of David will be anointed by the power of the Holy Spirit (v.2). He will judge fairly based on God’s unswerving and upright character(v.3, 5). He will remove the oppressive and restore the poor(v.4) and through His just reign even the whole of creation shall be restored to a proper peace (v.6-9). Paul tells us in Romans 8:22-23 that creation is waiting for this moment when the fruit from this branch will be revealed to the world. This is important for us to remember as it is perhaps difficult at times like this to remember who we are. We might be feeling the same things as the non-Christians around us, anxiety, panic, loneliness. But the truth is that creation is holding its breath for the day when we will be shown to be who we truly are. So just as the people in Isaiah’s day had to be patient in waiting for the restoration of the Davidic monarchy, so we must be patient as we wait not just for this lockdown to be over, but for the appearance of our saviour, who will come to bring in His perfect-forever rule, where sin and suffering are nowhere to be found.
Pray for other Christians that they would remember their identity at this time.
Pray that as a church we would be eagerly awaiting Jesus’ return.
Praying for our Care Homes
Please can we make a special point today in praying for our Care Homes, and those we know who are resident?
As a parish we have a special relationship with Lindridge Care Home, next to Goldstone School. Simon James-Morse goes in each week for a service, so do pray for what they refer to as 'Church'! And pray for particular wisdom for who is allowed to visit care homes. They are especially vulnerable places (and people) and so great care must be taken, while at the same time recognising the value of just a simple visit.