A Disruptive Stillness
Isaiah 11: 1-10 (NRSVA)
1 A shoot shall come out from the stock of Jesse,
and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
2 The spirit of the Lord shall 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 His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide by what his ears hear;
4 but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
5 Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist,
and faithfulness the belt around his loins.
6 The wolf shall live with the lamb,
the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
and a little child shall lead them.
7 The cow and the bear shall graze,
their young shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8 The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,
and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.
9 They will not hurt or destroy
on all my holy mountain;
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
10 On that day the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples; the nations shall inquire of him, and his dwelling shall be glorious.
Finding time for stillness is an art as this active person recently discovered on retreat!
But stillness doesn’t need to be a time of sitting still, it’s just about settling your mind and being, letting what God is saying gently bubble to the surface of our consciousness.
Do whatever helps you find stillness, light a candle, listen to a Christmas carol, or go for a walk and take in the sights and the smells of early winter and make time for stillness in this busy Advent season.
Isaiah brings a message of hope to people living in desperate times where enemies are threatening on all sides and a weak government is pulled this way and that.
It’s a promise of the peace that God will bring, a time when natural enemies, predator and prey will find peace together side by side.
There is disruption in the midst of that picture of harmony… And perhaps most disruptive of all is the idea of a lion eating straw!
We can each picture the perfect Advent and Christmas, full of moments of calm and peace to contemplate and prepare ourselves to receive the gift of Christ…
Life continues to disrupt…
What’s disrupting your peace just now?
Maybe it’s something outside of you which is affecting you? Or perhaps it’s a worry, or a resentment or unrealistic expectations which are gnawing away at your peace…
Is our vision of peace at odds with yours?
In our peace we want to shield our hearts from hurts and our minds from pain
Blocking out people, memories, thoughts…
So, we keep ourselves busy making our plans.
Your vision disrupts our plans and ideas…
A lion eating straw?
Increase our trust,
Open our eyes to the peace you offer,
And as we take a moment…
Open our hearts to the wonder of life with you…
Not on our terms.
But on yours…
That we might find the peace,
Gifted in love
That you offer us…
Because you want the best for us
So be it…