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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Today’s Reading | 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. (NRSV)

What beautiful images there are in Isaiah’s prophecy of the coming of the Messiah.

Picture a new branch growing out of a stump, evidencing redemption of the fallen house of Jesse. Think of a kingdom governed with wisdom, understanding, and fairness. Imagine the wolf and the lamb living together in harmony.

In today’s world, it’s hard to image such a place. How do we get there?

We let the little child lead us.

I feel closest to that peaceful kingdom at our Christmas Eve candlelight service. When the lights are dimmed and we pass the flame from neighbor to neighbor until the whole congregation is lit by candlelight, I feel the warmth, peace, and love of Jesus. What a gift from God!

Thank you, God, for sending the little child Jesus to lead us. Help us to follow and grant us your peace. Amen.

Written by Patsy Habicht, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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