Posted in musings, quotes

o flower of jesse’s stem

O Flower of Jesse’s stem, you have been raised up as a sign for all peoples;

kings stand silent in your presence;

the nations bow down in worship before you.

Come, let nothing keep you from coming to our aid.


Just a little flower he may have seemed at first glance, to the people of Bethlehem, a poor baby born in a stable among the crowds for the census, one among thousands. But he was born of a kingly line, his roots stretching back to Jesse the father of King David, and to a greater kingdom than that of Israel as the Prince of Heaven. Coming in the night, in poverty, into the small and little-known villages of Judah under the Roman occupation – but with hosts of angels announcing his birth, and wise men traveling over continents to worship him – he was indeed a flower bright. As the old hymn goes:

Behold, a rose of Judah
From tender branch has sprung,
From Jesse’s lineage coming,
As men of old have sung.
It came a flower bright
Amid the cold of winter,
When half spent was the night.

Isaiah has foretold it
In words of promise sure,
And Mary’s arms enfold it,
A virgin meek and pure.
Through God’s eternal will
She bore for men a savior
At midnight calm and still.

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