Advent Pilgrimage – Week 2

This year I am sharing some Advent Reflections online. The theme is Pilgrimage. I have to confess that I wrote this a few years ago, and have no idea what the inspiration I used was, my apologies if I have inadvertently plagiarised anyone else’s work, but the setting is definitely mine.

This week The Peaceful Kingdom

Isaiah 11:1-10

A shoot shall come out from the stock 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.

On that day the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples; the nations shall inquire of him, and his dwelling shall be glorious.

If you prefer the written version:

If you were in charge of this country, what would you want to see happen?  What changes would you make?

This is what Isaiah said the new king would be like.  A king of wisdom, with skill to rule, judging fairly, with honesty/integrity, obedient, powerful.    This is a beautiful picture of the eternal peaceful kingdom, where everyone and all creatures will happily and safely live alongside one another.  A day is coming when the nations will gather together and recognize the new king.  All creation will one day be at peace.  However unalike all will get along.  Fear will have no place – danger will be past.  There will be peace with one another, with the whole creation, and with God.

But this peace won’t just happen, but will come when the new member of David’s line comes, who will be filled with the Spirit of God.

Christians have identified this figure as Jesus – the Messiah, sent by God to be our saviour – the one who can make the impossible possible, the only one who can bring justice, harmony and peace.  God’s himself living with his people.

Jesus is the hope of the world.  It is him – in his love, wisdom and power – that the earth will be blessed – and again the promise that one day the earth will be filled with people who know and honour the Lord.   

This is the hope of Advent: a world renewed, changed; a kingdom of security and justice.

But they are a hope also for today, for those who love God.  For those of us who are human who struggle with relationships; for those of us who look in great sadness at the world, and mourn for its brokenness and unhappiness.

Jesus makes these things possible, and in his advent life, we have to live it out today.  We can live in peace and in justice – in God’s love – in the spirit of his wisdom – as we pray ‘Come Lord Jesus’.

Lord, we would like to see our world renewed into a place of peace and harmony.  Renew us by your life-giving Spirit, so that we can be agents of peace, justice and love where we are, and so be part of your great purpose for the whole creation.  Amen 

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~ by pamjw on December 7, 2022.

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