read: “The Lord’s spirit will rest upon him, a spirit of wisdom and understanding, a spirit of planning and strength, a spirit of knowledge and awe of the Lord.” -Isaiah 11:2
reflect: Aren’t we always looking for new leaders? For less greedy politicians, and more inspirational pastors, and more humble heroes? Isaiah puts words to our yearning as he sounds the promise of a new king to rise up out of King David’s lineage. This leader will at last be the one we’ve been waiting for all our lives. When hearing Isaiah 11, Christians often think of Jesus, who embodied the Spirit of God in ways no one else ever has. Yet, if we are to be Christians, that is, little Christs, then these words will also describe us, more or less. I immediately think of elders in our church about whom Isaiah 11:2 also could have been written. I of course do not think of them as the Messiah, but I do think of them as his close followers.
The “more or less” of how much Isaiah’s words describe us seems to have to do with the Spirit resting upon us. If we are frenzied, and filled up already with muchness of possession and activity, will the Spirit choose to hang out with us? We are challenged with the busyness of the season already. But for this moment, we will stop.
Cease. Breathe. Let go.
Wait for the Spirit (and another word for Spirit is “breath”) to give us wisdom and understanding, planning and strength, knowledge and amazement, as Isaiah has promised.
We may even become the kind of leaders we are looking for.
pray: Come, Spirit, we yearn for you. As we wait for you to rest upon us, help us give you some space to move into our lives. Amen.
with children: Be aware of a time when you are asking your children to hurry along. Pause in the midst of that moment, take a deep breath, and say: “I want to stop for a minute. Let’s breathe and feel God’s Spirit with us.” Breathe. Watch your children breathe. Close your eyes and thank God for the little ones!
act: Make a point to be extraordinarily kind to a harried sales clerk today. Put your phone away, look her in the eye, smile, and say thank you. As you walk away, pray for her as the Spirit leads you.