There was once an old bush man who like nothing more than to spend the day in the place he loved, sitting on an old Tress stump, it was first one he ever cut.
He loved to go there on a morning and remember the times he has spent in the bush
Everything was perfect for the old bush well except for two little things;
Firstly there was an annoying little shoot that kept coming out of the stump and poking him in the backside, every know and again he would break it off, but no sooner did he do that than it kept growing back.
Secondly come 12 o’ clock the sun would break through the surrounding trees and make it far too hot for the old Bush man.
One year about this time he went of to visit his daughter in the city
He said to himself that he'd spend Christmas there and then come home because he didn't care much for the city. Too much noise, too many cars and nowhere near enough trees.
But time went by and the old bush man truth be known enjoyed his stay, he loved his grandkids and they loved him, and there was nothing he loved to do more than tell them the stories of the bush,
Then about sometime during February or so the bush man knew it was time to go home. His memory was fading and so he knew he would have to go back to stock up on his memories again
So off he went.
When eventually he made it home he went back to his favourite place - the old tree stump.
Only when he got there things has changed, the shoot was no longer an annoying little shoot that poked him in the back side - but a full blown branch
The shoot that he had often tried to get rid of had taken over the stump growing up over the top.
Instead of being a pain the shoot had become a back rest for the old Bush man and what's more it had also become a sun shade too.
The old bush man was very happy.
A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse and a branch shall grow out of his root.
That's what Isaiah said to his people, that a shoot would come up out of something that was dead,
We know that shoot was Jesus,
But somehow all too often we treat the growing shoot like the old bush man did,
It makes us uncomfortable and so we cut it off
It ruins our comfort and so we get rid of the shoot.
But this shoot that is Jesus is like the shoot in our story,
It just keeps on growing, we think we have chopped it back then before we know it he is back again, making us uncomfortable. Poking us in the back.
But let us remember what happened to the old bush man when he left the shoot to grow,
He became very, very happy because the shoot not only turned into a back rest for his aching bones, but it also provided shelter from a fierce burning sun.
As we approach this Christmas we are once again given the chance to witness God's new growth in our lives.
How will we treat it?
Will we shop it back because it makes us uncomfortable or will we let it grow?
For the bush man the shoot meant shelter. For Isaiah’s people the shoot would mean peace, as the lion lay down with the lamb, but what will that shoot mean to you?