“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.” Isaiah 11:9, NRSV)
This beautiful passage describes the result of having an ideal king. Later these words were attributed to Christ’s future reign on earth. Hard to imagine in the face of “wars and rumors of war” that we witness hour by hour on news broadcasts. And the crazy weather patterns play into our fears as well, clouding the vision of meat eating animals lying peacefully with herbivores. Oh, and then there are those vying to be leader of this country, a subject that brings my grumbly nature roaring to the surface!
The violence of weapons and words are indeed overwhelming at times. How do we keep Isaiah’s vision in sight?
One thing at a time. We create sacred space in our homes, removing sharp angles and dangerous passage-ways. We set out plants in the spring that complement each other and repel insect infestations on their own. We treat our neighbors with dignity and respect. We adopt pets from shelters not puppy mills. We eat healthy foods and get enough sleep. And we let kindness and equity rule our decisions.
Your peaceful kingdom might seem pretty small. But peace has a way of spreading. Give it a chance.
God of Peace, if each of us created our own peaceful kingdom and if each of us shared that peace with the kingdom next door, we could create this Isaiah image. Grant to us the will and means to do so. Amen.
– The Rev. Fay Ann Blaylock, Zion United Church of Christ, Rulo, and First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Falls City