It got down to 1 degree on Friday night which is very cold to those of us in Southwest Oklahoma. A congregant from North Dakota commented, "Y'all never would go to church if you lived in North Dakota."
So today I've read my first day of the second week of advent devotion and am drinking my coffee out of my Peace coffee cup.
The scripture in today's devotion comes from Isaiah and includes these verses:
The wolf shall live with the lamb,
the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together
and a little child shall lead them.
I am very literal minded and have always read this scripture literally. It paints a beautiful picture of natural enemies in the animal world living in peace together. But today my concrete mind cracked a bit, moved outside the box and wondered, could these animals be symbolic? Be wary of wolves in sheep's clothing. Some people are bold as lions while others are timid as kids. People as different as these animals can live in peace together when they are led by the Christ child.
One of my favorite hymns is the peace song:
Click on the title to view a sing-along version on YouTube.
Things that make you go "Hmmmm..."
(Luke 12:51) - "Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division." (New American Standard Bible, 1995)
(John 16:33) - "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace..." (New American Standard Bible, 1995)
So did Jesus come to bring peace or not? I'd say He brings peace to those who want it. Sometimes you've got to shake things up first. Get people to decide what is important and what is truth. And finally, the peace Jesus brings is not of this world.