“In that day the Branch of the LORD will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth will be the pride and the adornment of the survivors of Israel. It will come about that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy–everyone who is recorded for life in Jerusalem. When the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and purged the bloodshed of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and the spirit of burning, then the LORD will create over the whole area of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, even smoke, and the brightness of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory will be a canopy. There will be a shelter to give shade from the heat by day, and refuge and protection from the storm and the rain”
– Isaiah 6:2-4

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I am on the road this weekend, visiting my brother and his family. My niece, Erin, and I have an annual tradition of performing the dance of the evergreen as we add branch by branch to the Christmas tree, and then adorn the branches with ornaments. This year, we decorated with even more flair than usual.

Even as we swung branches overhead and handed them creatively to my brother to add to the trunk, I couldn’t help but think of the Branch of the Lord, the beautiful glorious Branch we celebrate during this season.

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Please visit my church’s blog for a reprint of a reading I did for the first Sunday of Advent last week. Each week, another of my essays will be read and then reprinted at that site. I’ll continue to post links as the work is made available.