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On that day, a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse,
and from his roots a bud shall blossom.
The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him:
a spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
a spirit of counsel and of strength,
a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD,
and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD.
Wait for the Lord, his day is near
Wait for the Lord, be strong take heart
— “Wait For The Lord”- Taize
Waiting is hard.
So are “big things”.
We know we’re waiting for our King. We know the joy that our anticipation brings. The nation of Israel did not. The people knew the promise. They heard the words of Isaiah and the other prophets proclaiming the promise that the one to come would “….judge the poor with justice, and decide aright for the land’s afflicted.” In the next paragraph, Isaiah proclaims the one to come would also dispatch those who cause grief and pain.
That noted, this “call to arms” is brief, compared to all the good Isaiah prophesies to the people long afflicted by various human enemies. He tells of the good to come, with the lion and lamb lying together, and other wondrous sights … with a little child to guide them.
The weary adults will not provide peace. The child, and those who live and act in His behalf will be fulfilled. Peace will be at hand. Pain and suffering will end. All sadness shall be washed away.
With the “little child to guide…” you and I may follow, and put our worldly concerns and, yes, our personal pain in His hands. He will show us the path, a path unencumbered by jealously, selfishness, a lack of seeing the true path.
This certainly seems to be a lot to ask of any adult, let alone a child. But, as in the Old Testament, and in the passage from Matthew describing the proclamations from John The Baptist:
“I am baptizing you with water, for repentance,
but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I.
I am not worthy to carry his sandals.”
The One to come, The One we await, is to be a child. But, The Child will have power mightier than any earthly army. He will have the power of peace, peace for the world, peace for you and me.
The signs are in front of us. You and I need to be attuned to see them, and act with peace, hope, and joy.