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Sunday , December 4, 2022

Peaceable Kingdom
Artist: Edward Hicks

The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Sunday, December 4, 2022
Isaiah 11:1-10
Psalm 72:1-8
Romans 15:4-13
Matthew 3:1-1

All the readings for today herald the coming of a new King in the Davidic line – a new shoot “from the stump of Jesse” (Is. 11:1) whose reign represents a significant departure from the past.  As the Psalmist alludes and Isaiah prophesies, this new reign will be a Peaceful Kingdom wherein all creation lives together in peaceful harmony.  In Romans 15:4-13, the Apostle Paul re-iterates that the Peaceful Kingdom of Jesus Christ means harmonious living among Jews and Gentiles together.

Amidst our turbulent life, any concept of a peaceful kingdom may seem like a pipe dream and acting on the fruits of the Spirit – especially peace, joy, and generosity, may seem like a ‘big ask’ at times.  In Sacred Spaces: Stations on a Celtic Way (2001), Margaret Silf describes sacred spaces as “crossing places and thresholds [of growth] …  [that] offer … openings into new stages of becoming who we really are” (p.136).

Certainly, Advent is one of these sacred threshold spaces.  Advent is also at the intersection of the chronological time of our daily lives and Kairos, the appointed time of God’s action – in this case, the coming of Jesus.  How we greet this intermingled time and let it mold us further into who we really are is the ultimate challenge of Advent.  May God bless you richly as you rise to meet this challenge.

Cate McBurney