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Second Sunday in Advent

December 8, 2019 Speaker: Murray Keith Series: Advent

Passage: Isaiah 11:1–11:10

†††In the Name of Jesus†††
Pastor Murray Keith
Text: Isaiah 11:1-10
Date: December 8th, 2019; Advent 2; Series A
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
  • Peace on earth.  
  • In our Old Testament reading this morning the prophet Isaiah gives us a wonderful picture of peace on earth.
  • He prophesies about animals that would normally eat each other instead relaxing and eating together.  
  • A leopard stretches out and takes a nap next to a goat, rather than picturing it on a dinner plate. 
  • A wolf no longer snarls and prowls around a lamb, but the two are best buddies, playing together.  
  • Lions, tigers, and bears eat grass and nap in a pasture with a bunch of cows - and none of the animals are nervous about the arrangement. 
  • Natural enemies in the animal world will become friends, living in perfect harmony.  
  • A nursing child will be filled with laughter as he plays safely with a cobra snake! 
  • There’s no threat - even from a poisonous snake!
  • Peace on earth.  The picture is beautiful.  
  • The weakest and most vulnerable will be safe and secure.  
  • No one will get hurt.  No one will be in harm’s way.  No more injustice.  No more enemies.  No more war.  
  • Just living together in harmony and peace.
  • This is what we celebrate and anticipate and prepare for during this season of Advent.
  • Of course, that’s not the way it is on earth right now.  Animals do not play nicely together.  
  • You will see this clearly if you search “animals attack” on youtube or watch the National Geographic channel - then you will see how harsh and cruel the animal kingdom truly is.
  • But it’s not just the animal world where peace on earth seems to be missing.  
  • Our sin has caused a lot of division and discord in this world.
  • On a global scale we see wars, and terrorism, and random acts of violence. 
  • In our cities there is crime, and assaults, and murder. 
  • In our homes, at work, and even at church we experience conflicts and a lack of harmony.
  • We find little peace when we look at how human beings are treating each other - and we all contribute to that problem.    
  • But God has promised that love and peace will be restored and will prevail.
  • Peace on earth has to start somewhere, and in Bethlehem, long ago, true peace arrived as a little child, born so humble and vulnerable.
  • Isaiah’s prophecy, written hundreds of years before Jesus was born, described Jesus’ arrival as a shoot out of a stump.  
  • At the time of Isaiah’s writing, God’s people looked dead - like a stump.  
  • They had continually disobeyed God and they were suffering the consequences of their disobedience.
  • It seemed that they were forsaken by God and there was nothing left of them.  No future.
  • But God promised that a Messiah would come one day, and he would be called the Prince of Peace.
  • King David’s father, Jesse, is named in Isaiah’s prophecy to show that the promised Saviour of the nations would be born in humble surroundings.  And he was. 
  • Mary and Joseph were not famous: a carpenter and his wife—simple working-class folk.  
  • Jesus is born and laid in a manger, not a palace.  
  • He is raised in a small town among fishermen and other hard-working people - not in a capital city.
  • Yet he is the shoot out of that stump of Jesse. 
  • Jesus was sent to make peace between us and God and to bring true peace on earth.
  • His death on the cross would take care of all of the punishment we deserve because of our sin and rebellion.  
  • We call it forgiveness, but we can also call it peace. 
  • Listen to how St. Paul describes it: “For in [Jesus] all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross” (Colossians 1:19–20). 
  • And then came that day when peace flowed like a river from Jesus to his first followers.  
  • On Easter he rose from the dead.  
  • The violence done to him - was undone.  
  • Later, when the disciples were huddled in a locked room, afraid for their lives, they suddenly saw Jesus alive and standing in their midst.  
  • He greeted them by saying, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you” (Jn 20:21). 
  • With that, the true peace that Jesus brought began to spread into the world. 
  • Jesus is the shoot that comes out of the stump.  
  • He sprouts branches and leaves wherever his people are.  Wherever you are.  
  • You are very much an important part of the fulfilling of Isaiah’s prophecy of peace on earth.
  • How can you bring peace into this world filled with chaos, hurt, and fear?  
  • Seek reconciliation and forgive someone you are in conflict with.
  • Visit with someone going through a difficult time.  Offer any assistance you might be able to provide.  Pray with them.  Share with them an encouraging Word from God.
  • Support organizations that provide support, food, shelter, and other care to those in need.
  • Proclaim to others that the same peace that you have received from God through Christ Jesus - is also for them.
  • What higher honour and privilege could we have than to serve God as his disciples who help bring his peace into this world?
  • What a joy it is to proclaim to the world God’s gift of forgiveness, salvation, and the certain hope of eternal life.  
  • We are the instruments of peace for the Prince of Peace.
  • During this season of Advent, this season of hopeful anticipation, we look forward to the Last Day when Isaiah’s prophecy will be fulfilled completely.  
  • Animals will lie down together in harmony. 
  • God’s people will be united.
  • No more anger, conflict, violence, or wars.  
  • No more injury, sickness, disease, and suffering. 
  • No more sin.
  • No more death.  
  • Only love, joy, health, harmony, and life. 
  • Only eternal peace.  
  • The God of hope fill you with joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you abound in hope.  Amen.
The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus unto life everlasting. Amen.

More in Advent

December 15, 2019

Third Sunday in Advent

December 1, 2019

First Sunday in Advent