Walking through the beautiful rainforest on Haida Gwaii, it is not uncommon to see nursery trees. A nursery tree is a tree that has fallen over or been cut down that has another tree growing from it. This reminds me of these verses from Isaiah. Sometimes, it is only a small shoot. Other times, larger, more mature trees will be growing from fallen lifeless looking stumps or logs.
The prophet proclaims that from the family tree of Jesse shall come a new messianic king. We see the fulfillment in Jesus. From what seems impossible, new life comes. From what can appear lifeless and useless, new growth appears. This is the wonderful work of God. In God’s coming kingdom, we will see the transformation promised. The violence inherent in nature, reported daily in the news, will be transformed. “They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain.” All creation will live in peace.
As the nursery tree provides foundation and nutrients for new growth in the forest, Jesus gave his life to provide redemption, forgiveness and grace for new life.
Lord God, thank you for the foundation and nurture we need for new life in your kingdom. Amen. — JW