The First 15

Monday November 28, 2022

by Thomas Mitchell

Today is Monday, November 28 and this week begins our journey through the Advent season together.

Scripture Reading

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord — and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. Isaiah 11:1-3a


When we think of Jesus’ lineage, we can’t help but reflect on our own. We think of the generations who have gone before us – our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. We may think of the specific places in which our families have lived over the years. We carry each of these people and places with us. Our experiences with them (both the positive and negative) have formed us into the people we are today. God has used them to write our unique story and to equip each of us with unique gifts.

Each year throughout Advent, we consider and celebrate Jesus–our Savior born in a manger, a light shining in the darkness. But to think fully of Jesus, we must consider his family line– both his lineage and heritage of faith. Who was his family? Where did he come from? Both Matthew 1:1-17 and Isaiah 11:1-3 point us to the answers to these questions. Our reading today is a prophetic word which looks ahead to Christ’s birth. We read that Jesus comes from the family line of King David, the son of Jesse. It is here that Advent begins for us, in the expectation of a promised shoot that will “come up from the stump of Jesse.” A “Branch” who will bear fruit. One upon whom the Spirit of the Lord will rest. One who will delight in the fear of the Lord.

Over these next weeks we will walk together through the stories of Jesus’ lineage and faith heritage as we trace the redemptive story of God’s work in the world.

How have you seen God working in your family line throughout the generations? How has God used the positive and negative experiences of your family history to lead you to today? How has God shaped you as a result of your family? What gifts have you received from God through your family?

Closing Prayer

God, I thank you for my lineage. Thank you, God, for all those who have gone before me both in life and in faith. I thank you for their stories of both success and failure. I praise you for your faithfulness in their midst. As I enter this Advent season, would you speak to me again? Open my ears and heart to hear the Good News of Christ’s birth in a fresh way this Advent. Amen.

Songs of the Season

Listen and sing along with us to songs that will shape our Advent season. Today’s song sets our hearts toward the coming of Jesus. Listen to “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus” here.

First 15 through the season of Advent is adapted from Roots: Advent and the Family Story of Jesus available through Seedbed. If you or your small group are interested in using this resource for your Advent study, you can find more information here or send an email to

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