Read Isaiah 11:1-10.
“A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse,” the reading begins. A sure sign of hope is a sign of life where at first there seems to be no life. As winter leaves a sparse and barren landscape, spring brings rooted signs of newness in the unfolding of each day. The prophet Isaiah understood this image of hope for the imaginations of God’s people. As you sit with this psalm from Isaiah, write down the names of three people in your life who come to mind as you think of persons who need a sign of hope. For what do they hope? What “shoot” or “bud” would be a sign of life to them and those who love them? Pray for each one by name, and in your prayer, speak aloud their individual hope. Plant these prayers in the winter soil of Advent and release them to God, asking God to tend to them through this season and beyond.
This excerpt is from page 47 of Simply Wait: Cultivating Stillness in the Season of Advent by Pamela C. Hawkins. Copyright © 2007 by Pamela C. Hawkins. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. To hear the latest news from Upper Room Books, visit and subscribe to the Upper Room Books blog!
Originally posted on the Upper Room Books website.