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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
December 7, 2013

[NOTE: This message was originally published December 8, 2001.]
Leopards will lie down with young goats,
and wolves will rest with lambs.
Calves and lions will eat together
and be cared for by little children.
Cows and bears will share the same pasture;
their young will rest side by side.
Lions and oxen will both eat straw.

Little children will play near snake holes.
They will stick their hands
into dens of poisonous snakes and never be hurt.

Nothing harmful will take place on the Lord's holy mountain.
Just as water fills the sea, the land will be filled
with people who know and honor the Lord.

Isaiah 11:6-9 (CEV*)

This beautiful vision of Isaiah, immortalized by Edward Hicks' famous The Peaceable Kingdom paintings, is read in this Advent season as a part of the messianic prophecy. Isaiah looks forward to the time when creation is freed from bondage and lives in peace.

For me, this raises the question of where I fit in realizing this vision. If I am a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), do I seek to live now in the redeemed creation of which scripture speaks? As unrealistic and otherworldly as Isaiah's vision may seem, perhaps humans and even animals can live in it. The story of Little Tyke, the lioness who refused to eat meat and lived lovingly with the little lamb Becky (see picture), inspires me to reach for that possibility.

The Christmas season should be about more than remembering a birth which occurred two millennia ago. It should also be about the advent of the realization of the messianic dreams which Christ came to fulfill. Perhaps we should be spending less time concerned with material gifts and more time focusing on living as witnesses to the possibility of a redeemed creation.

Bill Samuel

* Contemporary English Version ©1995 American Bible Society.

©2001, 2013 Friends in Christ, Inc.

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Document last modified on Saturday, 14-Dec-2013 16:49:15 EST