I went to my daughter's college choir's Lessons and Carols performance yesterday in Middlebury, VT. One of the readings about the predictions of Christ's birth included Isaiah 11:1: "There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots . . ." Whoa! I thought. That's coppice! Coppicing and root suckering both!
When I got home I called my mother to check on her after her surgery last week. I told her of the reading, and she about hollered! She had been in Bible study the week before and they read the same piece. What's more, she read to me out of their Bible study companion manual. It turns out that the word for coppice in Hebrew is something like 'netzer', and it is believed that the name 'Nazareth' derives from that root word 'netzer'. As the place where Mary was told by the angel she would bear the baby Christ, this is appropriate for a name, given the prophecy. It also reveals how deeply coppice culture was embedded in pre-industrial, pre-hydrocarbon cultures--everyone used to understand the symbology of "a shoot from the stump of Jesse," or they wouldn't have used the symbol in the prophecy of Jesus' coming.
This can only mean one thing: If you love Jesus, then you must love coppice too, because he was a shoot off the ol' stump!
Happy SolstiChristmaHanuKwanzaaNewYear everyone!