Prepare to listen as you light the 2 purple candles. Pray: ‘To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens!’
Prayerfully Read Isaiah 11:1-10
A shoot shall come out from the stock of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. 2The spirit of the LORD shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. His delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear; but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist, and faithfulness the belt around his loins. The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den. They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. On that day the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples; the nations shall inquire of him, and his dwelling shall be glorious.
When Jesus, the root of Jesse, comes, harmony and peace will be restored on earth. Isaiah paints a vivid picture of what this will be like, listing 10 different animals in pairs of wild and domesticated living peacefully together—the wolf and lamb, leopard and kid, etc. Remarkably, a little child shall lead them all, as both wild and domesticated peacefully and obediently follow the child. The scene includes little children playing, unharmed near venomous snakes. Peace and harmony in all creation is vividly portrayed.
The biblical picture of peace and how it comes about is often in direct contrast to what we expect. We’d never choose a little child, the weakest and most vulnerable member of the human community to spearhead the road to peace and harmony. But God does and we’re called to pay attention to the power that God chooses to wield through the weak and vulnerable rather than the rich and powerful. A little child is God’s choice of leader.
List the attributes of the Spirit that will rest upon Jesus and then wonder how you, called to be like Jesus, can promote these this Advent of waiting.
Respond to Jesus
Lord Jesus, give me eyes to see your ways that often conflict with what we expect. Lead me to be an instrument of peace and harmony so that the earth may be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. Amen.
Go live obediently in the world, following the child in peace and harmony.