Monday (December 13, 2021)

A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. (Isaiah 11:1)

When’s the last time that you looked up at the stained glass windows at St. Timothy? Can you remember what they look like? In the front of the church is a large circular window and around the top of the rest of the sanctuary are smaller square windows all in a row. 

The place to actually start looking at the windows is with the first square on the church’s south-east corner. The window you will find is blue. Within the scene of blue sits a seemingly strange image. Look closely, for without it the rest of the stained glass story falls apart. The image is a stump. Whatever tree once graced this stump is now gone. It would be a lonely image save for one crucial detail. Out of the top of the stump there is a streak of green. Look closely and you will see that it is a vine. The vine quickly veers to the right out of the first pane of glass and dives into the next blue window to the right. 

The rest of the windows, as you travel clockwise around the sanctuary, follow the church year calendar, the liturgical calendar. The blue of Advent soon fades to the white and gold of Christmas and after that through Epiphany to the purple of Lent, gold of Easter, red of Pentecost, and finally green of Ordinary time. 

Once again, look closely. As you follow the yearlong journey you are accompanied. That green vine that shoots out of the stump winds its way through each and every pane, around the entire church, until it finds its final resting place at the front of the sanctuary in the giant circular window. And it is in that window that the vine bursts into a flower. 

Friends, the stump is the stump of Jesse, the father of king David. The vine is the shoot that comes out of it, as the prophet Isaiah foretold. And the flower? The flower is Jesus, the descendent of David, the newborn king. 

Let us pray: This Advent, when we feel lost, when we feel disconnected, remind us, O Lord, that we find our roots in your vine. Carry us through all the days of our lives until we meet the flower that blooms on Christmas. Amen

Peace in Christ,

Pr. Daniel Joyner Miller