The Tree

by Jonathan Bailey

Isaiah 11.1
“There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.”

Jesses’s roots, composted with carcasses
Of dove and lamb, parchments of ox and goat,
Centuries of dried up prayers and bloody
Sacrifice, now bear me gospel fruit.

David’s branch, fed on kosher soil,
Blossoms a messianic flower, and then
Ripens into a kingdom crop, conserving
The fragrance and warmth of spring for winter use.

Holy Spirit, shake our family tree;
Release your ripened fruit to our outstretched arms.

I’d lie to see my children sink their teeth
Into promised land pomegranates

And Canaan grapes, bushel gifts of God,
While a skip a grace rope to a Christ tune.

Eugene Peterson
The Contemplative Pastor, 159.

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