Isaiah 11:1-9 / Micah 4:8-13 / Luke 7:31-35
By Lou Palangi
Just before sunrise, the mighty planet Venus shines brilliantly and the thought of the three kings on their journey to see the baby Jesus envelops my mind.
Isaiah 11:1 – 9
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 the coming messianic kingdom, not only humans, but all God's creatures, will live together in peace and harmony.
The predator and prey will lie down lie down together and the child who leads them is Jesus.
The earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD. God will overcome the curse of sin and establish a world in which all creatures thrive.
Micah 4: 8-13
And you stragglers around Jerusalem, eking out a living in shantytowns. Understand what is happening is the making of God’s people — that they are wheat being threshed, gold being refined. On your feet, Daughter of Zion! Be threshed of chaff, be refined of dross. I’m remaking you into a people invincible.
John the Baptist is asking us to be receptive to the teachings of God. At least once each day, I am in a position to listen to another person who is talking to me with big overwhelmed eyes. The topic may be divorce, depression, a big family move, troubled families, relationships, and health issues, being jobless or homeless, or financial struggles. Listening to others while putting their strife in the context of thesepassages allows me to lend hope in terms of transition and transformation.
God, help us journey together through our days allowing you to speak through us.
Some of what we struggle with feels excruciatingly difficult at times. Help us remain solid in knowing that you are within us, releasing our human desire to control our existence. Spreading the word that we are all “wheat being threshed, gold being refined.”
With humble gratitude,