Today's Lectionary Text
A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse,
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
The wolf shall live with the lamb,
I remember as a kid we had a picture book where the cover was of a lion and a lamb. We would get this book out at Christmas time and read it. As a child, I never understood what this image was supposed to say; I just thought it was cute because I loved lambs and lions.
t probably just made me think of the many stuffed animals which filled my brother’s and my room. I’m sure many of us have seen the image of the lion and the lamb or sung songs with these phrases. As a child, I didn’t understand the importance of this imagery. Why was the lion and the lamb sitting together so important?
After reading Isaiah’s words today, we know this image is not just about the strongest in the animal kingdom sitting with their prey -- or even lunch. But it shows the peaceful kingdom where those who hold the most power, are willing to lower themselves to sit with the lambs -- those who have no status in society. For the rich to listen to the poor and befriend them. For those with homes to ensure everyone one as a safe place to stay. For those in power to not respond with violence or hatred -- but to be peacemakers.
Each of us has the power to humble ourselves like the wolf and the leopard, who watch out for the lambs and goats. It might mean we have to go against our very nature, to ensure all our taken care of. But when we live like this, making sure everyone has enough and everyone is protected and cared for, we bring about this peaceful kingdom. We ensure it is not just a lofty dream, but we make it a reality for all the earth.
Omaha First UMC
Prayer for Reflection
Peaceful God, may we be peacemakers in our world-humbling ourselves to make sure the least of these might be cared for and loved. For when we work together, we can bring about the peaceful kingdom of love. Together we pray. Amen.
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