I love that Isaiah 11 was included in the Advent readings this year. It seems just right- the prophet shows us a glimpse of what the kingdom will look like when the true King comes, when he sets it all back as it should be. I settle down in my waiting, looking from glimpses of this kingdom-image in my own life. Depending on the day, I might be encouraged by what I see. Others, the kingdom seems further away than ever.
Of all the images in Isaiah 11 and perhaps of all the images in scripture, the wolf dwelling with the lamb, and a little child leading them (Isaiah 11:6) are among my favorites. The image is so peaceful and it is so contrary to the rules that we imagine the world operates under. Wolves prey on lambs, right? Little children aren't the ones usually leading, are they? We'd never trust the wolf to dwell in unity with a gentle lamb and we'd never trust a little child with the leadership over either of them.
But as we tend to see over and over again, and as trite as it might sound, God's ways are not our ways. His rules are different. His kingdom is one of unity and peace, all creatures living in accord (yes, all of us!) His kingdom is one that comes through self-sacrifice and love, not through power wielded by preying on the weaker ones. Thanks to be to Him he has something else in mind beyond what we have made for ourselves.
As we celebrate Christmas, the plot twist to end all plot twists, may it be on our hearts that in the Kingdom of God, wolves dwell with lambs and little children can be leaders. His ways have always been of the upside-down sort and in this season, the baby in the manger is our first indication. Merry Christmas, friends.
Kelsey // @kelskingmiller