The wolf shall be a guest of the lamb.

“Cheer up! Everything will be okay.” Well-meaning people offer this kind of consolation, but it doesn’t help much with real problems. In today’s first reading, the prophet Isaiah didn’t offer such empty reassurance to the kingdom of Judah, which was surrounded by powerful empires. But he didn’t offer military help or a diplomatic solution, either. Instead, he promised that God would do something altogether unexpected.

From David’s line would come a king unlike any other—one whose reign would bring true justice. His reign would extend beyond Judah to all nations. It would even extend over nature and usher in a new creation where natural enemies like wolves and lambs or cobras and children would live in peace.

But what Isaiah promises seems unimaginable! After all, wolves eat sheep; it’s what they do. Yet Isaiah used poetic language to describe the peaceable kingdom that the Messiah would bring.

This promise of a new creation might strike us as unrealistic, one more example of “empty talk” that will never come to pass. But Isaiah wasn’t making empty promises. God’s promise was true because it was fulfilled in Jesus. We know that he exercised power over nature when he calmed the sea (Luke 8:22-25). But even more, because of his Incarnation, death, and resurrection, his reign now extends over the whole earth. A time will come when we will behold it in fullness: all creation will be renewed, and Jesus will be Lord over all. On that day, peace will reign. There will be no more enmity or war, sickness or injustice, sin or death: “There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain” (Isaiah 11:9).

We all long for that day because we all have “impossible” situations that we can’t resolve. They may even seem too difficult to pray for. Yet Isaiah declares that we can have hope. The new creation has come, and Jesus has the power to help us. He can bring new life even where it seems impossible.

As you begin Advent, surrender your impossibilities to Jesus. Trust him to come and act. He will move forward his plan of peace for you. He’s not bound by what seems impossible.

“Come, Jesus, make all things new in my life!”

Isaiah 11:1-10
Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17
Luke 10:21-24


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