“John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, ‘Repent’” (Matt. 3:1–2). His preaching of repentance for the forgiveness of sins prepared people for the coming of Christ into the world. His vital ministry continues in preaching Law and Gospel. The Son of God has come in the flesh, “a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots” (Is. 11:1), and continues to bear the fruits of righteousness.
His good tree of the cross is “a signal for the peoples” (Is. 11:10), by which He calls the nations to repentance. “With the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips” (Is. 11:4), He slays the wicked and brings the dead to life. So also the “root of Jesse,” Jesus, comes to us, that “we might have hope” and be filled “with all joy and peace in believing” (Rom. 15:4, 13).
These Seeds of Faith have been sown by St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Bridgeport, NE. I’m Pastor Allen Strawn.