Thursday, the second week of advent's devotion comes from Michael Hoy's, "Light of Grace: Devotions for Advent."
The wolf shall live with the lamb; the leapard shall lie down with the kid; the calf and the lion will feed together, and a little child shall lead them.
Isaiah 11:6 NRSV
A zookeeper once told me that you can tell the difference between animals by their eyes. "Eyes to the side hide; eyes to the front hunt," she said. It does help to shed some light on the obvious fears of herbivores (plant-eater) toward carnivores (meat -eater), though even the latter fear other predators.
Humans are generally listed among the omnivores (both plant and meat-eaters). Yet with our drive to survive, which is stronger than any animal's, it probably makes us freightening not only to the animal kingdom but to creation as a whole. But even humans still have many fears about their own safe place in this world. And there is also judgment and accountability for our sins in this fearmongering world.
How do the eyes of Isaiah see the peaceable kingdom of reconciliation in this world of fear? He sees with eyes of faith. He sees a time of grace abounding over all fears, for us all and for all of creation. And to make it all possible, he also calls us to look with eyes of faith upon the last worlds of his promising vision - "a little child shall lead them."
Such faithful eyesight dawns upon us through the child who came for us all. Through the cross and resurrection that was to come, Jesus suffered rejection and death at the hands of others in order to bring into being a time where violence is overthrown and peace can truly reign. Now be fully assured through these lines of "Amazing Grace": "Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, / And grace my fears relieved."
Lord, give us eyes of faith to grasp your grace and peace. Amen.