Advent Reflection – 8

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.

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. (Isaiah 11:1-10)

The words of the prophet Isaiah are perhaps some of the most shocking, beautiful, disturbing, and inspiring words in the Bible. In this excerpt from Isaiah, he foretells the coming of a person who is like no ruler the earth has ever known. This coming ruler is one of peace and love; of mercy and righteousness; of equity and humility. When this ruler comes, wolf and lamb will lie together. When this ruler reigns, the cast down will be raised up. This words were as stirring 2500 years ago as they are today. When we invite Jesus Christ into our lives, we are taking part in bringing about the rule of the one Isaiah foretells. We are inviting Emmanuel – God is with us – into our life and into our world. It is only in the glorious reign of our Lord Jesus Christ that these things will take place. Come, Lord Jesus, come!

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