Monday, December 4, 2017
How the World Works
As you take a moment to re-read this famous passage of scripture, think carefully about what Isaiah is saying about how God works. How is God’s means of saving us completely different from every other means of rescue that humanity has tried.
“Out of the stump of David’s family[a] will grow a shoot—
yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root.
2 And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
3 He will delight in obeying the Lord.
He will not judge by appearance
nor make a decision based on hearsay.
4 He will give justice to the poor
and make fair decisions for the exploited.
The earth will shake at the force of his word,
and one breath from his mouth will destroy the wicked.
5 He will wear righteousness like a belt
and truth like an undergarment.
6 In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together;
the leopard will lie down with the baby goat.
The calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion,
and a little child will lead them all. Isaiah 11:1-19
Here’s what I see;
- the hope of the world is found where no one would ever look, in a shoot growing imperceptibly from a dead tree.
- The same Spirit of God that created the world is upon this symbol (a tiny twig) of both weaknesses and power, a power that masters every other world power.
- Jesus, the branch from the root of Jesse, saved the world by dying for it. Every other solution to our problems offered by the world is one of gaining power over evil. God’s solution is submitting to it and then being raised out of it by the resurrection power of the Cross.
- God is found where the poor and weak are found
- All the earthly powers of the world shake and will be destroyed by one breath from Jesus, the taken for granted, unnoticed twig from the stump of Jesse.
- One day everything in the entire cosmos will be made right. Everything, no speck of sin or evil left. Every person will mirror the perfect obedience of Jesus, submitting their own will to the will of God. Each person will experience the consummate freedom of perfected obedience. It is in and through that that Joy will burst forth.
- Who is this king who will rule the world? A little child. No more pretention, no more posturing and pride-driven power plays. Life will be varied and complex but not complicated. It will be deep, wide and expansive yet simple. The dangerous beauty of this world will have become incomprehensively beautiful but no longer dangerous because humanity will have learned to worship God in perfected partnership with the created world, both animate and inanimate.
One of the best things that I learn from this passage is that I must never, never, never disdain the smallest of things and the briefest of moments. As the power of the world is in the twig growing from the stump of David’s family, it is in the smallest of things that life consists. It is in them and from them that the power of the risen Christ may be unleashed in our lives. We must be awake enough to see what’s happening right under our noses.
Lord, give me my daily bread. I am hungry. I am so tired of being so tired and so busy and so consumed with ‘stuff’ that I am simply too weary to latch onto the ‘little’ things which are in the reality the big things that really matter, the good and perfect gifts that come from You, Our father above. Amen