Today's ornament symbolizes the prophecy of a shoot from the stump of Jesse (and is where the title of the devotion book comes from). Isaiah 11:1-5 says,
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of power,
the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord—
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;
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.
Righteousness will be his belt
and faithfulness the sash around his waist.
The Isrealites were sinful and God had to cut them off for a time. But He sent the prophet Isaiah to bring them a message of hope: from their brokenness would shoot forth a New Branch. Christ would be firmly established in righteousness and justice. Through the family tree of Jesse and David, Jesus, the "Anointed One" (Messiah) would come. (p. 55)
As I am writing this, I'm listening to Avalon sing "We Are the Reason," originally made popular by David Meece years ago. What better backdrop to look at Christmas, than to remember that we are the reason God sent His Son, and that He came to give us righteousness and peace and salvation. Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful gift!