December 19 (O Root of Jesse)




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Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to you, O Israel!  


O Root of Jesse, standing as a sign among the peoples; before you kings will shut their mouths, to you the nations will make their prayer: Come and deliver us, and delay no longer.


Isaiah had prophesied: "A shoot shall come out from the stock of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots." Isaiah 11:1 "On that day the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples; the nations shall inquire of him, and his dwelling shall be glorious." Isaiah 11:10  Jesse was the father of King David, and Micah had prophesied that the Messiah would be of the house and lineage of David and be born in David’s city, Bethlehem.  


O Radix Jesse: O Root of Jesse

(Written by Dan Davidson) 


During the Holiday Season, we often take the time to visit family. On rare occasions, we are even able to be with our extended family which often spans several generations. This is a special time because we remember the family that we are apart of. We are reminded of where we come from. We get to see our living family tree.  


The birth narrative of Jesus Christ in the Gospel of Matthew begins with the family tree of Jesus. In that first chapter, we hear the names of the patriarchs of Jesus’ family spanning forty-two generations. We get to see the family tree of Jesus. We recognize the family that Jesus was born into as we hear the names of his forefathers: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jesse, David, and Joseph.  


We hear these names with familiarity. We know them as well as the names of our own family members. We know deep down that they are the names of our forefathers too. In them, we too see our family tree. How can that be? Why do we long to call them our forefathers? Why do we feel drawn into the family tree of Jesus?  


On Christmas Day, we celebrate the birth of Jesus born into the family of Jesse. We celebrate the humanity of God in Christ Jesus; made like us with flesh and blood as innocent as a babe. And on Easter Sunday, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We celebrate the divinity of God in Christ Jesus; conquering the power of sin and death for us. Jesus was born into the family of Jesse - - then he lived and died. However, through his resurrection he was born again ushering in a new family; the family of God. This is our true family tree; for when we are born again, through our baptism, we are grafted into the family of God through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  


O Root of Jesse you have drawn us towards your glorious family. May your name, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, be forever praised!


O come Thou Root of Jesse's tree

An ensign of Thy people be

Before Thee rulers silent fall

All peoples on Thy mercy call

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel

Shall come to you, O Israel!


The Magnificat (Song of Mary) - Luke 1:46-55  


My Soul Magnifies the Lord

And my spirit does rejoice in God my Savior

My Soul Magnifies the Lord

And my spirit does rejoice in God my Savior    


Praise the Almighty God, He’s done great things for us

Holy is His name

Praise the Almighty God, He’s done great things for us

Holy is His name    


My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior; 

for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.    


From this day all generations will call me blessed:

the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.    


He has mercy on those who fear him 

in every generation.  


He has shown the strength of his arm,

he has scattered the proud in their conceit.     


He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,

and has lifted up the lowly.  


He has filled the hungry with good things,

and the rich he has sent away empty.    


He has come to the help of his servant Israel,

for he has remembered his promise of mercy,  


The promise he made to our fathers,

to Abraham and his children for ever.  


Musical refrain by J. Brooke Fenwick