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Thursday, 30 November 2017

The Peaceable Kingdom!

The Peaceable Kingdom!
Isaiah 11:6

“And the wolf also shall dwell with the lamb…”  
                One can only imagine a world, a community at peace
for peace was lost at Eden. Yet Edward Hicks an American artist painted over 60 versions of his “Peaceable Kingdom” depicting animals not normally seen together lying in contentment and at peace. This idea of a world at peace comes from the prophet Isaiah 11 who states that “the wolf and lamb shall dwell together in peace when the kingdom of God comes in fulfillment.
                It is difficult to imagine this because God’s Kingdom as we know it is not peaceful- there are enemies and death, war and destruction at various places around the world. But the prophet says that the kingdom will come and everyone will be at peace. This kingdom will come when Jesus the Prince of Peace comes and calls us into his presence and asks us to live loving others. Changes and transitions will be experienced and the kingdom of God as God intended it without sin, will come into existence.
                But how are we to prepare for this or even understand this? As we begin this new church year and Advent our focus is on God’s peaceable kingdom. Hicks’ painting helps us to visualize animals sitting contentedly and at peace but I wonder can we? Can we truly understand this peace and what it means as we enter Advent?  God’s peace may be experienced if we truly believe that the One who comes and was placed in a manger is the one who also enables us to have peace within forevermore. If we believe and have faith we can do many things but are we willing to risk our lives and seek the peace found in Christ Jesus alone?
                Advent is a time of waiting, preparing and looking ahead to Christ’s birth. It is a time to look for the gifts of Christ in others just as others are searching for these same things in us. Where is the love, hope, joy and peace to be seen in you? What do you seek as you look to Jesus and search for these gifts in others? God’s peaceable kingdom is possible if we believe and have faith that Jesus comes to change the world. Do you believe this?
                PRAYER

God of grace and love, we thank you that Isaiah wrote about the peaceable kingdom where all of life lives life to its fullest and there is contentedness wherever we walk. Help us to understand that this kind of peace is possible through faith and truly knowing the Baby born in a stable as the Resurrected Christ. God of love open our hearts to receive your peace. Amen.

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