The Family Stump

[ dawn neldon ]

Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot –  yes, a new branch bearing fruit from the old [seemingly dead] root.
– Isaiah 11:1

For some of us the Holidays are a brutal reminder that our family tree looks more like a stump. We watch Hallmark movies and see the families gathered – the children playing board games, the oddly, musically talented cousins breaking into song round the ol’ piano. We long for that closeness. We long for connection. We long for family. And for some of us the holidays remind us that things in our families, things in our lives are not what we’d hoped for.

And that’s why I get weirdly excited about the story of Christmas. Because for many of us Christmas has become a Hallmark ideal (that frankly no family can live up to). But perfect, problem free families filled with people who have it all together was NEVER the story of Christmas. God did not intend for it to be.

Have you ever stopped to think about the fact that God could have scripted the arrival of Jesus however he wanted! He could have come in a palace. He could have been born to a king. At least He could have chosen a family that had it all together. But this isn’t that kind of story…

“This is a story about a family – big like a tree – with branches that reached to the sky! But this family got in trouble…and when that happened it was like their family tree kind of crashed to the ground, leaving behind only a stump.”
– Ann Voskamp

The place, the people, the stump of a family- every detail intentional. Every detail communicating something God doesn’t want us to miss.

Jesus came from a stump. HOPE was born into utter brokenness. This is the story of Christmas. If you’re feeling weary – if you’re family feels stump-y – if you’re reality falls short of expectations and you feel broken – God wrote this story for you.


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