Day 6 – Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it? (Author: Gretchen Rubin)
As I scroll through my mental Rolodex I keep coming back to the sermon I put together for Advent 2. The text was Isaiah 11:1-10
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.
What a gift to paint a picture with words. I’m not quite in the same class as the writer of Isaiah but I like these words that I put together for the sermon on Sunday in response to Isaiah’s call for peace:
Peace is fragile. Just think about the number of family gatherings that happen between Thanksgiving and Christmas that end in turmoil and pain for families? But what of those shoots of life that come forth from the dry, barren, unlikely places? As I walked the labryinth at Ghost Ranch this past October I was struck by the vibrant blue flowers that grew up in the crevices of the rocks. Their leaves were no bigger than the nail on my smallest finger. They’d been trampled more times than I can imagine, but there they stood, grabbing my attention and reminding me of the fortitude of life.
Maybe peace isn’t fragile. Maybe it is we who are fragile. Maybe we are afraid to stand up for a different vision of what this world can be, one that is more like the one painted by Isaiah and lived out by the One we await.