When I have shown people our list of Advent words, most have focused on today’s word – “root.” And most have asked the question, “What does 'root' have to do with Advent?” I did not create the list, so can only guess, but likely the list creators were thinking of the passage in Isaiah that refers to the “root of Jesse.” (Isaiah 11:10) This is a phrase that many interpret as referring to Jesus, and Jesus’ lineage in Jesse’s family. (This interpretation is helped by Paul quoting the Isaiah passage in Romans 15.)
When I’m not in Biblical scholar mode, however, I can’t help but think of oak trees when I hear the word "root." The roots of oak trees are not very deep, but they are wide. Often when oak trees are near each other, their roots will interconnect and begin supporting one another. What a beautiful image for living together in community! How might we support one another just as the oak trees do? How might we provide nourishment and grounding to another … as well as receive that nourishment and grounding when we most need it? May we be roots for one another this Advent season.