Sunday’s Scripture –December 8, 2019
When reading Isaiah 11:1-10, this insurance commercial from the mid-2000s comes to mind. This portrait of the peaceable Kingdom is a picture-perfect creation where everyone lives in harmony. It is a cute commercial, but is one idea of what we can imagine when Isaiah penned these words many years ago.
In this Isaiah passage, we see predators dwelling in harmony with their prey and children playing with venomous snakes. It is remarkable. In the historical context, this would be shocking. A young shepherd from the royal family wouldn’t be unusual. However, the interaction between the shepherd and the animals would be surprising. Kings were seen to fight and kill lions, not live with them. This is counter to the culture, just as it is today. It’s inherent that we conquer and defeat, as a society, but what would it look like for us to work to usher in peace?
Advent is a time for the church to consider how we can join God in ushering in this peace. What would a world look like that is more like the realm of heaven? John the Baptist, in Matthew 3, calls us to prepare by repentance. John invites us to hope in this vision of peace, but not before we repent for the ways in which we turn from God. When we repent and reconcile ourselves to God, we become a vessel of God’s peace and the peaceable Kingdom here on earth.
- Does Isaiah’s vision of the “peaceable kingdom” apply to nations today?
- If so, how?
- If not, why?
- Why did John the Baptist preach such stern warnings?
- Do they apply to us today?
- Why or why not?
Questions from #WorkingPreacher