For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating; for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy, and its people as a delight. I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and delight in my people; no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it, or the cry of distress. No more shall there be in it an infant that lives but a few days, or an old person who does not live out a lifetime; for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a youth, and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed. They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be, and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain, or bear children for calamity; for they shall be offspring blessed by the Lord— and their descendants as well. Before they call I will answer, while they are yet speaking I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox; but the serpent—its food shall be dust! They shall not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain, says the Lord.
Food for Thought:
This passage of Scripture has been one of my favorites since I was in seminary. The image of a lion dwelling with a lamb is such a peaceful one. If you live or work in Downtown Fort Worth, you have probably run across a similar image. There is a man who has a dog; on top of the dog sits a cat; and on top of the cat sits a mouse. These animals have been trained to live peaceably amongst each other. When I see this image, I think to myself, if wild animals can do it, why can’t we as human beings? I have always loved the phrase, “why can’t we all just get along?” But there have been times in my life and moments where I found it difficult to get along with certain people. They may have simply rubbed me the wrong way. It is in moments like these that I am reminded of the worlds of the Psalmist, crying out essentially, “Why can’t we all just get along?” If a lion and lamb can live peaceably amongst each other then we should be able to also. This day, I challenge you to make peace with someone that you need to make peace with.
God of peace, you call us to live peaceably amongst one another. You call us to turn the other cheek when we are struck. You call us to help our neighbors. You call us to visit those who are in prison. You call us to be bearers of light in a world of darkness. Guide us this day as we seek to make peace in our lives and in this world. In your name we pray, Amen.