Intertwined Roots – A devotion from the devotion book “Come, Emmanuel” as edited by Casey White
From Matthew, Chapter 1: An account of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Issac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,…and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David.
Trees help one another out, and this makes for healthy growth and a strong community. Unseen, intertwined roots send messages, encourage changes, and share nutrients so that all the trees may thrive. This is the hidden life of trees observed by scientists and forest managers. Think of Utah’s own Pando Aspen Clone in the Fishlake National Forest. This collective root system of some 40,000 aspen trees is believed to have been born from a single seed at the end of the last ice age. From that one seed planted eons ago came this wondrous living organism with each member of that organism dependent on each other for sustenance and health. To me, such is the body of Christ.
So, what does this have to do with the genealogy of Jesus that Matthew provides? Matthew shows us the very roots of Jesus, the Messiah. We can marvel at the diversity within these roots: wandering Arameans (Abraham, Sarah), lowly shepherds, foreigners (Ruth, Tamar), and a king (David). Here is the mysterious, hidden, surprising work of God.
Advent is a good time to remember God’s persistent, faithful work throughout history and in our lives today. God came in Jesus Christ with the good news that all history is in God’s hands. God’s goal, through Jesus, crucified and raised, is to save the world and all humanity, even in the face of rejection. We are planted and rooted in God’s amazing grace. God promises us sustenance, nourishment in body and spirit, and community so all may thrive. Planted in God’s undeserved love and in the community of faith, we are strengthened for whatever comes.
Planted in God’s saving love, may we find sustenance for each day and receive the blessings of being intertwined in the community of faith. Amen.