read: “The wolf will live with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the young goat; the calf and the young lion will feed together, and a little child will lead them.” -Isaiah 11:6
reflect: Anytime I see all of our living presidents gathered together, I get a glimpse of what Isaiah was proclaiming here. We spend so much time and energy on our political divisions, but every now and then, all of our living presidents stand together to show that we are indeed one united country. Here is Isaiah’s vision of how the world will show that we are part of one fabric of creation. Natural enemies in the animal kingdom rest together: wolves and lambs, leopards and goats. “And a little child shall lead them.”
Sometimes we think of the child leading the dangerous animals as a confirmation of the importance of children and how we can learn from them. Though this is a true and good message, that children are important and that they teach us much, it is doubtful that was the message Isaiah intended. What Isaiah is talking about is safety for children. When the One we are waiting for is here, every child will be safe. There will be no predators, animal or otherwise. This is the world Isaiah proclaims is coming, and it is the only one we can accept.
When we remember that God came to us as an infant child, we recognize Isaiah’s prophecy. The baby Jesus came as a vulnerable child. What greater risk could God take? God came as a child to change the hearts of all, so that all children would live in security. Come quickly again, Lord Jesus.
pray: O God, your vulnerability in Jesus astounds us. Help us to see those in need of our protection too, and guide us to your peaceable kingdom. Amen.
with children: Ask, “Which do you think is the cuddliest animal? Which one do you think is the most scary? Do you think those two animals could help each other somehow?” Wonder together if God could make that happen.
act: Do you know the children who live next door, across the street, or behind you? Pray for them today, and learn their names if you don’t already know.