-Rev Melissa Fain-
A shoot will grow up from the branch of Jesse;
a branch will sprout out from his roots.
There are some memories that appear so crystal clear to me that I can easily recreate them in my mind. Walking down the aisle to my future husband. The moment right after giving birth, where those first beautiful screams echo straight into my heart. The breezy late spring morning I stood outside at Candler School of Theology before accepting my diploma. Those are all life altering events, and they still feel so real. From the smells, the lights, and feelings. Then there was that stump.
I saw the stump during one of my many hikes. I don’t really recall the hike itself anymore. I knew I was with others. I don’t remember who those other people were. Still, one moment crystallized in my mind. It was no more than twenty seconds out of a two-hour hike. Light cut through the trees as I passed by and hit a very old and decaying stump. The mist from the morning dew was gently rising from its mulchy shell. From its center was a shoot, a new tree, growing. I can remember dragging friends over. “Look at this! Isn’t it spectacular?” Clearly not seeing what I was seeing they gave me weird looks and wanted to move on.
I, on the other hand, immediately saw a message in that single image. Life persists. As morbid as it may sound, it was the very first time I saw beauty in death, the discarded, and the lost. It was simplistic, but powerfully life changing.
This is the image that pops into my head every time I read about the shoot of Jesse. That’s not to say the trunk of Jesse’s shoot is rotten or dead. It wasn’t. It is to say life persists. Hope continues. When life’s story looks like it reaching its zenith, God causes a shoot to emerge and you are in a whole new direction. The shoot of Jesse is a reminder that God’s not through with us yet. We still have stories to tell, directions to take, adventures to pursue. God with us. Thank God!
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Holy and Loving God, please break through our redundancies and shine down on your shoot. Help us see your focus in our lives. Amen.
Rev. Melissa Fain was ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) with duel partnership between First Christian Church of Atlanta, and First Christian Church of Marietta.
She has a BA in Music from Kennesaw State University and a Masters of Divinity from Candler School of Theology at Emory University. She is currently the senior minister at Fig Tree Christian. Melissa is the mother of two wonderful children, and wife to a great and supportive husband. In her spare time, she loves arts and crafts which includes making costumes from scratch, and knotted bracelets.
She has used her continuing education to study new church plants and church redevelopment.