Jesus throwing down another challenge

The wolf will live with the lamb,
    and the leopard will lie down with the young goat;
    the calf and the young lion will feed together,
    and a little child will lead them.
 The cow and the bear will graze.
    Their young will lie down together,
    and a lion will eat straw like an ox.

Isaiah 11:6-7

I am one of those soft-hearted idealists who likes to imagine a Utopian creation where all is peace and love, and where even the animals come together with a beautiful understanding. I guess I would have to be some kind of a vegetarian in such a scenario, but am also hoping there’s possibly some wiggle-room when it comes to steak!

So of course I am drawn to the idea of The Peaceable Kingdom. And I love scriptures that point to that kind of harmony.

I have always thought of Romans 8:18-25 as referencing how creation itself, even the earth and the animals, is waiting – sometimes in agonizing frustration – for humankind to finally understand and implement all the implications of redemption. I feel that the passage is about our responsibility to be good stewards of the gift of this Good Earth; yet here we are, still running it into the ground for our own temporary gain.

The whole creation waits breathless with anticipation for the revelation of God’s sons and daughters. Creation was subjected to frustration… the creation itself will be set free from slavery to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of God’s children. We know that the whole creation is groaning together and suffering… And it’s not only the creation. We ourselves who have the Spirit as the first crop of the harvest also groan inside as we wait to be adopted and for our bodies to be set free. We were saved in hope… But if we hope for what we don’t see, we wait for it with patience.

Romans 8:18-25

When Max looked thorough the window yesterday, and saw the “reindeer” Rebekah had just brought into the front garden, he got excited. I let him out and he immediately ran over to meet and greet. He wasn’t quite sure what to do so he just sat down.

Max is also fascinated with baby Jesus in the nativity, and I think he could easily have scored a walk-on role as “sheep” in WFPC’s Walk Through Bethlehem.

So more and more this week we are bringing the redemption story to life in and around Maul Hall….

And, more and more, the implications of such reconciliation with the purposes of God paint a vivid picture of what is possible. Hope, and light, applied to every detail of how we interface with the world around us.

That Jesus! Isn’t he always throwing down some kind of a challenge?

“We are saved,” Paul writes, “in hope.” – DEREK

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