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This Is What Love Looks Like

Nov 30, 2022 | Reflections

Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot—
yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root.
And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
He will delight in obeying the Lord.
He will not judge by appearance
nor make a decision based on hearsay.
He will give justice to the poor
and make fair decisions for the exploited.
The earth will shake at the force of his word,
and one breath from his mouth will destroy the wicked.
He will wear righteousness like a belt
and truth like an undergarment.

In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together;
the leopard will lie down with the baby goat.
The calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion,
and a little child will lead them all.
The cow will graze near the bear.
The cub and the calf will lie down together.
The lion will eat hay like a cow.
The baby will play safely near the hole of a cobra.
Yes, a little child will put its hand in a nest of deadly snakes without harm.
Nothing will hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain,
for as the waters fill the sea,
so the earth will be filled with people who know the Lord.

10 In that day the heir to David’s throne[b]
will be a banner of salvation to all the world.
The nations will rally to him,
and the land where he lives will be glorious.

In the second week of Advent, we will examine a passage from Isaiah. Much like the first week, we hear the prophet longing for a future filled with counter-intuitive realities. Yet, when we listen deeply to what Isaiah is saying, we can see and experience the manifestations of God’s incarnated Love. In this future, natural-born enemies can co-exist. A dangerous world becomes a child’s playground and a parent’s dream. The lost are found, and in these things, the Love of the Lord is evident to all.

During this Advent season, God is calling the Church to awaken to the systems and structures that exist in the world so that we may understand how these systems impact the widow and orphan, the poor, the starving, and the voiceless disenfranchised. Moreover, God is calling the Church to examine how it supports these systems either passively or actively. This self-assessment is for our good and not our humiliation.

By the Holy Spirit’s leading, the Church can see the systems playing a role in the oppression of the downtrodden. But it is only God who can transform the heart of the mighty who come to look upon the weak and lowly with Love, care, and concern. This transformation will allow all to see Isaiah ten fully come to pass, and it should be the Church leading the way.

How long must we wait before dawning the Spirit of Isaiah ten? How long before this transformation? In one sense, the birth of Jesus Christ has laid the groundwork, but now Christ’s bride, the Church, must step up and lead the way in our continuous redemption and transformation. The Church being the Church, has the ability and the calling to model what Love looks like in the way Isaiah foreshadows.

The Love of God and not the Law of God will be able to do this transformative work in the hearts of all people. And then, all of humanity will know – This is what Love looks like, and Isaiah ten will no longer be an aspiration but a tangible reality.