“The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox.”
How nice! Wolves and lambs, calves and lions.
There is an incredible harmony suggested by this image! But, this isn’t just a matter of enemies getting along or opponents crossing a theological divide.
There is a big power differential reflected in these pairings; wolves eat lambs, not the other way around. Lions hunt calves.
The point here is that, the peace that will be brought by the Lord is one in which those who are in positions of power and privilege will no longer pose as a threat to the weak and oppressed.
Indeed, the Lord has chosen the lamb and the calf, the poor and the meek. The Lord, who will come as a shoot, a tender stem, an infant, opts for fragile life that is easily bruised and trodden.
So who are the lambs among us today? Who needs the protection and care of those of us with some measure of power or privilege?
Matthew 25 gives us a clue…those who are hungry, sick, lonely, poor, and imprisoned. In other words children, elderly, refugees. Those on the margins. Those are the lambs.
When we protect and cherish them, then, says Isaiah, “earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.”
Let it be our prayer, that we will remember God’s faithfulness during this Advent season. And may we be faithful to the power that has been given us…that with that power we will not oppress but rather protect those who are weak and in need of our protection. Amen.