The editors of the Spark Story Bible include one scripture to introduce young believers to the words of the prophet Isaiah. Isaiah 11:1-10 is a promise of peace to come. And the peaceful promise depends on children and animals:
The people of Israel had been at war for a long time. They were tired and weary. They needed a leader who would help them. God promised to send them a leader. The leader would be a strong and wise child who would show them how to live in peace.
As we all hope for peace in our lives and our world, that peace still comes to us as God has sent a child to show us how to live in peace. We celebrated that promised child at Christmas. We have experienced glimpses of the promised peaceful kingdom as He has made His home in our hearts. And we hope each day for the day to come when we will all revel in the fullness of God’s promised peace:
God promised that when the child came, wolves and lambs would live together in peace. So would leopards and baby goats, as well as lions and calves. If animals who are natural enemies can live together in peace, then people can too. The child would show them how to live in peace and love each other.
As we pray and wait for the Peaceful Kingdom to encompass the whole world, we can smile at the vision of how wonderful it will be, and practice peace in our corner of the world.
God, let the Child of Bethlehem find such a home within me that I will be at peace with those around me today, helping the Peaceful Kingdom to be reality here and now. In Christ’s name I pray. Amen.