Monday, December 9, 2013

Advent - Week 2 - Peace

Scriptures
Isaiah 11:1-10
Romans 15:4-13
Matthew 3:1-12

A few weeks ago, one of the passages (Nov. 24, Colossians 1:11-20) gave one of the most complete descriptions of who Christ was in the human form for his ministry on earth. This second week of Advent we get another thorough description of Christ and who he is when his kingdom is established.

The Romans passage continues the lesson from the first week concerning living differently than the rest of the world. Specifically it deals with the welcoming of Gentiles; however, we can understand it to mean that we are to welcome people of all backgrounds. Just as Christ transcended traditions and rules of that time, he expects us to look beyond our culture and comfort zone in cooperation with others. God expects us to seek peace with all people. As the Prince of Peace he desires that we live in peace.

Isaiah 11 gives us the description of Christ. Recounting his human lineage which gave him all the physical nature of humankind. Describing God’s characteristics in Christ, we see the complete nature of God in him. In his kingdom natural harmony prevails. Christ judges all humankind and peace so prevails that even animals we know to be predator and prey coexist side by side. The harmony intended for the creation finally comes to fruition.

This week as we celebrate the peace of Christ, we are challenged to imagine just what that peace means. When we truly embrace God’s direction to welcome all people, we approach the vision from our imagination.  Advent guides us through anticipation of the Lord’s return, but even as we work through the anticipation, we are reminded that until that day comes, we are charged with providing an example of that coming kingdom in our lives.