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Peace For Today And Tomorrow

Isaiah 11:6-9 (VOICE)
A day will come when the wolf will live peacefully beside the wobbly-kneed lamb,
    and the leopard will lie down with the young goat;
The calf and yearling, newborn and slow, will rest secure with the lion;
    and a little child will tend them all.
Bears will graze with the cows they used to attack;
    even their young will rest together,
    and the lion will eat hay, like gentle oxen.
Neither will a baby who plays next to a cobra’s hole
   nor a toddler who sticks his hand into a nest of vipers suffer harm.
All my holy mountain will be free of anything hurtful or destructive,
    for as the waters fill the sea,
The entire earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Eternal.

There is no denying that our world is divided and tense and at any moment feels as though it will all come crashing down. This is the antithesis of what the Prince of Peace hopes for us and wants to instill in us. It’s hard to wrap our heads around peace when every where we look is about comparison and selfishness and fighting and injustice. How do we carry both the nature of our current world and believing that Jesus came to bring peace?

If we were to focus our eyes on only the state of our world, we will miss it. We will miss the peace and shalom we are offered and promised through Christ. Isaiah again prophecies of a new day that is on the horizon. A day when the wolf and lamb with live peacefully, the bears and cows will graze alongside one another, and a baby who plays by a cobra’s hole will suffer no harm. Isaiah is telling of the day that Jesus comes as the Prince of Peace and a day of rest. Peaceful rest. When we won’t always have to be looking over our shoulder for the next predator. We will be able to rest deeply in the peace and presence of Jesus. Advent reminds us of the soul-refreshing rest given through Jesus’ birth and to expect shalom and redemption when he comes again.

Lectio Divina Practice
As you walk through the Lectio Divina today, read the scripture above and meditate on it, allowing the Holy Spirit to reveal himself to you.

  1. Silencio: Come into God’s presence. Quietly prepare your heart to meet with and hear from Him.  Slow down, relax, release the noisy thoughts that crowd your mind over to him.

  2. Lectio: Read the scripture above slowly and out loud, let words resonate with you. Be aware of words that stick out to you. When a word or phrase grabs your attention, stop reading. Sit with it. Open your hearts to what God is saying to you. Underline the phrase, make notes of what you’re hearing. Don’t analyze it or judge it. Listen and wait.

  3. Meditatio: Meditate. Read the Scripture a second time out loud. Savor the words. Listen for any invitation that God is extending to you in this word. Reflect on the importance of the words that light up to you.

  4. Oratio: Respond, pray. Read the Scripture a third time. Now is the moment to enter into a personal conversation with God. There is no right or wrong way to do this. The important thing is to respond truthfully and authentically. What feelings has the text brought about in you? Talk about where you are feeling resistant or want to push back, and of where you feel invited into a deeper way of being with God.

  5. Contemplatio: Contemplate, rest and wait in the presence of God. Allow some time for the word to sink deeply into your soul. Yield and surrender yourself to God. Before you leave, you might consider a reminder that can help you dwell on this word throughout the day.

Family Moments
Read Isaiah 11:6-10 together. The world can seem like it is a sad place to be with a lot of fighting. Jesus came to remind us how peace has come to earth through Christ and how a peaceful rest will fully come to earth when he returns. When do you feel most at peace? When do you feel most at rest? Is there somewhere you like to go to rest? What does it say about God’s character that he wants to restore perfect peace?