From the Pastor’s Pen

“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 11:6-10

            Sometimes God’s promises seem too good to be true.

Imagine a wolf and a lamb together… and we’re not talking cartoon wolves playing dress up—we’re talking about the kind that were in the horror film The Grey starring Liam Neeson. So too with Calf and Lion, we’re not talking Lion King or The Wizard of Oz, we’re talking about a dangerous and deadly creature.

Or imagine how people would react if, for the Children’s Message, I took the kids out to the nearest pit of snakes and told them to play therein!

Preposterous yes? A pie-in-the-sky dream right? We know these creatures kill. We know they are dangerous.

Yet, in this poem in Isaiah points to a time where the preposterous is plain to see.

 

And, as world leaders gather in South Africa to honor Nelson Mandela I would suggest there is a profound example of things that are death dealing becoming life giving to be had. I would even go so far as to suggest a friend’s experience of Mandela’s inauguration as president was a small experience of what Isaiah writes.

You see he was there with his parents and from the sky came the sound of military helicopters. The crowd began to panic—they were sure the Apartheid military was going to strike and stop Mandela from becoming president… but then from those helicopters were unfurled the new flag of the multi-racial South African state. These machines of death flew by to honor the very person who represented those they had held back.

You could say Isaiah’s poem is a far off dream—but look, look at these waking dreams that are around us—look with hope for the dreams that are yet to come!

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