This is the sermon I preached for Advent 2 A on 12/4 at St. Timothy and St. Mark Lutheran churches. The text is Isaiah 11:1-10 . Who wouldn’t want to live in a paradise like the one Isaiah describes? It’s an unimaginable world! But it didn’t start out that way for the people of Israel. Judah had been devastated. In Isaiah 6, it’s likened to a tree that’s been destroyed with only the stump remaining. But God had promised that there would be new life that would usher in a new age of righteousness and justice. This would not be limited to Israel alone, but is an ideal world for all people. Isaiah preaches hope in a time of terror and justice in a time of oppression. The stump was the dynastic reign of King David’s family, which was believed to be the carrier of God’s goodness and faithfulness in the world. But the royal family disappointed its people and left them in despair. God’s Spirit enters into this malaise. God’s wind has come to blow over the stump of death and disc
“Marked with the cross of Christ forever, we are claimed, gathered, and sent for the sake of the world.” (Sent! by God's grace for the sake of the world, July 2006, "Global Missions Event." 5).