December 19, O Root of Jesse, standing as an ensign before all peoples, before whom all kings are mute, to whom the nations will do homage: Come quickly to deliver us.
Jesse’s family tree reached it highest growth in King David and then it became sick and eventually was totally cut off in 586 BC. Isaiah 11:10 promises, “In that day,” a fruit bearing branch shall appear having, “the Spirit of wisdom and understanding…counsel and might…knowledge and fear of the Lord,” resting on it. This will be a signal that the Lord is coming to gather his people from the ends of the earth.
The coming of the Messiah in Jesus is that signal. At his coming at the end of time, all people proclaiming their own power and might will be silenced. Along with the poor and the meek they will bow their knee and do homage to the King of Kings.
The prayer which concludes the Bible, Rev. 22:20, is as needed today as ever, “Come Lord Jesus!” Come quickly!
St. 4 of LSB 357 offers a variation on the antiphon:
O come, thou Branch of Jesse’s tree, Free them from Satan’s tyranny that trust Thy mighty pow’r to save, And give them vict’ry o’er the grave.