Sunday, December 6, 2015

Advent Reflection: A Banner of Peace



As a child, I remember being terrified as adults in my life fought.  It felt as if my whole world was falling apart.  Every bit of peace I had dissolved as the voices got louder.  I wanted to run away and hide.

Conflict has always caused me anxiety.  Angry faces and frowns and sharp voices cause the knots to begin in my stomach.  Sharp words and scowls can leave me quaking on the inside. My head throbs and I want to hide, child-like and in fear.

The world we live in is in constant conflict.  All it seems to take is a careless word to cause fights and disagreements and feuds to start.  People are so quick to lash out in anger.  What our world needs is peace.
 
Isaiah 11:1-10 ~

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
    from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
    the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
    the Spirit of counsel and of might,
    the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord
and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.

He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
    or decide by what he hears with his ears;
but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
    with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
    with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
Righteousness will be his belt
    and faithfulness the sash around his waist.

The wolf will live with the lamb,
    the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
    and a little child will lead them.
The cow will feed with the bear,
    their young will lie down together,
    and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
    and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
They will neither harm nor destroy
    on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord
    as the waters cover the sea.

In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious.
 
What a beautiful picture of not only Christ's first coming, but his Second Coming.  Christ came to earth as a baby, grew to a man and during his ministry drew people from all walks of life to himself.  His death and resurrection brought peace to those who chose to follow Him.  

His Second Coming will also bring final peace to this world that is in so much turmoil.  The picture of mortal enemies living in peace is beautiful.  His people will live in harmony forever.

I can't wait for that day when there will be no more arguments, angry voices, and conflict.  Wars and violence will end.   There will be ultimate peace and as verse ten says, it will be glorious.  The anxiety and fear will melt away.  The anger and frustration will disappear.   Frowns and scowls will dissolve.  

What a beautiful thought during this second week of advent!