Happy 2nd Sunday of Advent!
December 7, 2014
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
2 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—3 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; 4 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.
5 Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.
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. 7 The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. 8 The infant will play near the cobra’s den, and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
9 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.
Ever find Jesus perplexing? Even confusing at times? If so, you’re in good company—many have been confounded by Jesus. On one hand, He fulfilled part of what we read here so beautifully. God’s Spirit flows from Him, dispensing stunning streams of power and wisdom, truth and love. Imagine what it was like to hear truth cascade from His lips, to watch grace and healing power set a leper free or unlock deafened ears. Imagine Jesus placing His hand on your friend’s shoulder and, with a word, giving her sight for the first time. Surely this was the One God had promised!
But then we read the rest of the prophesy- about dispensing justice and slaying the wicked. Parts about creation itself being restored to a kind of peace the world hasn’t seen since Eden. Jesus hasn’t fulfilled that promise. Not yet. Thus the confusion. The disappointment, even. Which brings us squarely back to Advent– specifically, our place between 1st and 2nd Advents. Yes, Jesus is the One who was promised. He is our Answer. But… He is not yet finished. Yes, He fully accomplished our deliverance from the power of sin on the Cross. And yes, we can be fully confident in Him for what remains. But in the meantime… we wait. And hope. And keep on trusting.
Which aspects of Jesus’ first coming are you most grateful for today?
What parts of His 2nd Advent stir you most from today’s passage?
Talk about what it would be like for God’s Creation to be restored to it’s original intent- as it’s described in this passage.