BEECH GROVE NOTES
11 A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. 2 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. 3 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, 4 but with righteousness, he shall judge for the poor and decide with equity for the oppressed 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. 5 Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist and faithfulness the belt around his loins. 6 The wolf shall live with the lamb; the leopard shall lie down with the kid; the calf and the lion will feed together, and a little child shall lead them. 7 The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. 8 The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den. 9 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. 10 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. — Isaiah 11:1-10
CHRISTMAS CARDS FROM ISIAH: REIGN OF PEACE
LEAD-In From Last week:
- We lay down our “weapons” then we seek the act that unites us together.
- Last week called us to the hope of peace.
- Laying down our arms and allowing them to be transformed is a sign we are willing to work together…now comes the actual work…
“Peaceable Kingdom Theology”
- Isaiah 11 shows us, not only get a promise of hope, but we get the very image of hope itself.
- “Lion and lamb” imagery present in this passage
Don’t be political…Why?
- Politics is about our life together
- Inherently we should care about that as a church because churches play a large role in community and community building.
‘A Reign of Peace,’
- Isaiah calls for it in this word from the Lord
- He lays out the true goal of what that peace can and should look like…how we are called to coexist together.
DIVING INTO ISAIAH 11:
- There is not an ambiguity of differences, but a coexistence of differences that sees harmony and peace even amongst differences.
- Example from the animals:
- The lamb knows what the wolf is capable of and yet lays down with it anyways, and reciprocally the wolf, knowing what the lamb offers lays down with it none the less.
- An understanding of trust that honors the created living-ness of both creatures in which neither seeks to harm the other.
The Jewish people longed for this leader who could lead them in this prophecy of peace. A leader who could overcome the differences with warring nations and bring about God’s peace.
We interpret Jesus through the lens of Jewish history that gives birth to our own tradition.
In the Gospel of John 15:5 we hear Jesus proclaim, “I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.”
Jesus is taking this idea of a leader ushering in an era of peace, falls less on the physical actions of God themselves, and more on the actions of the Spirit of God within each of us.
That role of peace making is in our hands.
If Jesus is the root, then we must be willing to come forth in the name of Jesus as peacekeepers.
peace is a 2-way street:
- We must be willing to do the work, and we must be willing to admit error and have compassion and empathy within the process.
- The wolf and the lamb do not just put their differences aside and lay down without the lamb forgiving the wolf for trying to eat them, and without the wolf forgiving the lamb for the skeptical judgement the lamb offers.
- Both must lay aside differences and be willing to see each other as created in the image of the one who created them.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: Jesus comes to earth to offer the example by which we live…will we allow his image to be our image of lasting peace in the world?
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