First Monday in Advent: In the Garden

Tonight we read the creation account from Genesis 1 for our Advent reflection. It's a good place to start; a reminder of what it was supposed to be like. At some point as we were discussing what it would be like to live in the garden where you could pet the lion without fear or play with a wolf, Nils commented, "Like when the lion eats straw." He was referring to a passage he must have heard in children's church on Sunday night, Isaiah 11:6-7:
The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
and a little child will lead them.
The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
Isaiah 11 begins by describing the shoot from the stump of Jesse that will bring peace to the world--a peace where mortal enemies will eat together. We believe that shoot to be Jesus, the Christ. He promises to return and right all things, bringing a new heaven and earth.

And so we wait. We wait for peace. We wait for justice and righteousness. We wait for Christ's return. But we wait not idly. We wait with hope. We wait with open eyes, watching for where Christ is at work in the world. We wait while working to bring about justice, righteousness and mercy where we can.

Most importantly, we wait in Christ, dying to our self each day and being transformed more and more into His likeness. The same likeness as the image Adam was created in back in the garden. There, in the garden, where God pronounced His creation "good." In the garden where God walked with them in the cool of the day.

So we wait and we hope: for peace, for paradise, for fulfillment as image-bearers.

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