The Hope Collective Advent Guide
Joy | Week 4 | Day 24
Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot—
yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root.
And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
Have you ever seen a tree stump?
What did it feel like?
What did it look like?
Was it big enough to sit on?
Did the tree stump look alive or dead?
Did you know a tree stump can grow back to a full-sized tree? With the right root system in the ground and nutrient-filled soil, you might see small green leaves and branches poking through the hard stump (though it would take a really, really long time!). Let’s wonder together: what does a tree stump have to do with Advent and the coming of Jesus?
When God laid out the consequences for the disobedience Adam and Eve chose in the garden, He also cursed the ground and the snake that had tempted them. In Genesis 3:15, God declares I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.
He shall bruise your head. … Who is he? I’ll give you just a minute to think through who that might be. Did you think it was Jesus? If so, you’re absolutely right! In the midst of the pain and brokenness of sin, God had already prepared a way for evil to be conquered forever and for joy to come into the world.
As the story between God and mankind continues to unfold, we see that God brings Jesus into the world through a chosen group of people—the Israelites. It is through this incredible group of people that God shows His presence and reveals His plan of redemption to the world. If the Israelites are the tree stump in the wilderness, Jesus is the new, living branch that grows out of it! The entire world receives redemption through Jesus and His living sacrifice.
Lord, we come to this Advent season with hearts full of joy as we look to Jesus coming to earth as your Son. May we see you in this season, and may we show your goodness in everything we say and do. Bring to us opportunities to serve those who are suffering; open our eyes to the needs around us that we may bless others through your Name. Amen.
– Content written by Awana®. Used with permission.
Watch this short video on joy and share it on your social media page or send it to someone who comes to mind. Joy to be Strong | Diamonds in the Dust with Joni Eareckson Tada – YouTube
Put a gift card and note in or on your mailbox for your USPS mail delivery person. Thank them for the work they do.
In the parking lot at a store, offer to bring back someone’s grocery cart.
Create your own family nativity set. Cut squares of white paper and have each person draw a character of the nativity on each piece. Tell the story together as you glue the characters on a poster. Have the kids color in the scenery.