Advent 19 - Practicing Peace - Two Cities Church

Advent 19 – Practicing Peace

by Monica George

In this text, Isaiah speaks to the people of Israel when all hope has been lost. After the year that we’ve all experienced, it may be easy to imagine the devastation and hopelessness that the Israelites were experiencing during this time. 

However, for me this year has helped me to develop strengths within myself and my faith that I did not know I had. 

Isaiah 11:1— “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.” Isaiah 11:5— “Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.” It is clear Isaiah is speaking about the coming of Jesus. However, this text divides in the middle, verses 1-5 prophesize the coming of Christ in the flesh and verses 6-10 speak of the final coming of the Lord, the restoration of creation, and the return of man to the presence of God. Isaiah 11:6— “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.”

It can be easy to feel hopeless in today’s world. Every time we turn on the T.V., open our phones, or even go for a walk or a drive we see violence, destruction, and suffering. Likewise, it can be easy to imagine a world where predators and prey, the rich and the poor; the powerful and the powerless all live in harmony and rest in the presence of the Lord. 

What may not be easy, and as such, is my challenge to you today, is to be present in this moment. Create peace in your day today. Maybe give a compliment to someone who looks like they need an encouraging word. Pray for that specific person you may be struggling to understand. Through thoughtful action or intentional prayer, we can practice peace today. 

Isaiah 11:1-10 NIV

The Branch From Jesse

1

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[a] 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.

10 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.