December 17

Good morning all!  We made it to Monday morning.  Hope it is going well so far.  Happy anniversary to my parents today!

Today’s scripture: Isaiah 11:1-9

 

A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. The 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.

 

 

Have you seen this book before? It’s pretty great.  It highlights all of these different animals that aren’t supposed to get along but do….my friend Jeff loves this kind of stuff…here are a just a few to overload you with cuteness..

 

 

 

 

There are a ton of these but I think you get the idea.  Pretty cute.  In my own house I have a Chihuahua and a silver tabby cat who really love each other.  They play and they cuddle and they groom each other…

 

I mean, you have to admit, that is pretty adorable.  If you want to see more, just let me know or look for that amazing book.  The reality is that we react to this cuteness but I find myself also kind of giggling when I see these.  Why do I giggle? Because this is not supposed to happen! These animals aren’t supposed to get along…it goes against what I know of the world.  So it strikes me as funny and yet there is this vision of what could be…kind of.

 

What is your vision of peace?  Is peace just something we talk about or is it this vision on the holy mountain where we see the most unlikely friendships?

 

This Isaiah passage has become pretty well known for the vision of the lion who lays down with the lamb and other unlikely friendships, all being led by a child but for Isaiah it was a deep deep longing for peace.  This passage is being written around 700 BCE and the Assyrians have been fighting the Egyptians, and then the Egyptians fought the Assyrians and back and forth for many many years.  Enough years that all children grew up with weapons in hand, a spear and a sword. The tree of David that was so promised to the people of Israel seems to be stunted and a stump during this time.  Isaiah is yearning and longing for peace, for that stump to shoot out a branch.  Isaiah is well versed in older scriptures and knows that humans were made in Genesis in peace.  Isaiah knows that God intends for us to be peaceful creatures, not warring ones.  So he sets out this vision on a holy mountain where all creatures are peaceful.  Many might react with giggles but maybe we react by spreading peace.

 

Yesterday, in Mark’s sermon, he made the comment, “evil can be perfected in just one second while love is so hard to work at…but we must spread that love.”  I feel the same way about peace today.  We must struggle to find it in ourselves and then spread that vision of peace.  We are also yearning and longing for peace.  Cultivate it in yourself today.  What would it feel like to let go of worry and anxiety to capture just a moment of stillness?  What can you do today to spread the vision of peace forward?  In the meantime, enjoy the photos of what could be. 🙂

 

Peace,

Court

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