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Friday, March 28, 2014

Scripture Reading: Micah 4:3–5; 5:1–5
He shall judge between many peoples,
     and shall arbitrate between strong nations far away;
they shall beat their swords into ploughshares,
     and their spears into pruning-hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
     neither shall they learn war any more;
but they shall all sit under their own vines and under their own fig trees,
     and no one shall make them afraid;
     for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.

For all the peoples walk,
   each in the name of its god,
but we will walk in the name of the Lord our God
     for ever and ever.

Now you are walled around with a wall;
   siege is laid against us;
with a rod they strike the ruler of Israel
     upon the cheek.

But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah,
   who are one of the little clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
     one who is to rule in Israel,
whose origin is from of old,
     from ancient days.
Therefore he shall give them up until the time
     when she who is in labor has brought forth;
then the rest of his kindred shall return
     to the people of Israel.
And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the Lord,
     in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they shall live secure, for now he shall be great
     to the ends of the earth;
and he shall be the one of peace.

If the Assyrians come into our land
   and tread upon our soil,
we will raise against them seven shepherds
   and eight installed as rulers. (NRSV)

The writer of this passage is expecting a new way of life. At the time this was written, the people of Israel were in exile. The writer longs for a way of life led by a king that values good over evil, love over hate, and peace over war. The writer proclaims an ideal, a kingdom come where God’s will is done and God’s community is reestablished. 

For Christians, that king is Jesus, the Son of God. Through him we are “fed,” “counseled,” “secure,” and find “peace.” Through him, we are bound together in community and redeemed from a life filled with loneliness, separation, and exile. 

It is this Jesus that finds us, calls us, and saves us through his passion on the way to the cross. In him, we find new life and courage to proclaim this good news each day of our lives. 

How are we doing this Lent? Have we been able to set aside time to reflect on Christ’s life and death? Have we been able to stay on track with our promises to take up something new that serves God’s purposes or sacrifice a behavior that distracts us from him?    

Thank you for sending your Son, King of kings, Wonderful Counselor, and Prince of Peace. Help me to embrace the promises given to me through him so that I can live more faithfully and share his story more joyfully this day and always. In Christ’s name. Amen.

Written by Nikki Dekker, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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