Crossroads: Peace

Isaiah 11:1-10

Your Story

Talk about a time when you saw an animal that made you afraid. What happened?

My Story and the Bible Story

When I was a teenager, my family and I went tubing down a river. Before we got in our rafts, the guide warned us to watch for bears. I knew that bears were dangerous and didn’t want to get close to one, so as we started floating down the river, I was looking around me to make sure I didn’t see any bears. I was in the lead, with my mom, sister, and aunt behind me. 

When I came around a bend in the river, suddenly I saw a big black thing on the other side and I was headed right for it! I was sure it was a bear. I was terrified because I thought if I got close to it, it would attack me. I started trying to paddle away, and my mom was trying her best to get to me. As we got closer to it, though, we realized that it was a cow and started laughing with relief. I wasn’t in much trouble with that cow, but if it had been a bear, it would have been very dangerous. I could have been hurt. We learn what animals to fear. We learn not to get close to lions, tigers, and bears (oh my!). We learn that snakes and wolves can be dangerous. But one day, we won’t have to worry about which animal is safe and which one is dangerous. We won’t worry when we get close to a bear or a lion. One day, all of creation will be at peace.

Read Isaiah 11:1-10.

Can you imagine a day when all animals are safe for humans to approach, when the wolf and the lamb are side by side, when children can play near snakes and not worry about being bitten? Can you picture the day when the Earth is at peace? Jesus, who is a descendant of Jesse and is the shoot that came up from the stump of Jesse, brought with him hope, and he also brought peace. He brought hope that one day there will be peace on Earth. One day, as we learned last week, the nations will be at peace and there will be no more war. And one day, all creation will be at peace too. One day, we will not need to fear any animal because we will all be at peace. What a beautiful picture of heaven (known as the mountain of the Lord in Isaiah): all creation will be at peace with one another! We can look forward to the day when there will be peace forever between humans and creatures. Jesus came so we could have hope and peace. As we light the candle of Peace on the second Sunday of Advent, we remember the peace that Jesus brings.

Discussion and Prayer

  1. Ask your children if they have been afraid of any animals. If so, talk about how one day they will be at peace with them. (If your child is afraid of a specific kind of animal that they pass frequently, like dogs, talk to them about how Jesus can give them peace and help them not be afraid. Talk about ways to stay safe around animals who may be dangerous.)
  2. Talk about which animals you’d like to see up close if they weren’t dangerous. (You might even plan a trip to a zoo or aquarium.)
  3. As a family, find ways to share Jesus’ peace this week with those around you.
  4. Pray, thanking God that one day all of creation will be at peace and asking God for peace for any situations in your life that need peace.

Rev. Jessica Asbell is the Minister to Children and Families at First Baptist Roswell, where she has been serving since 2012. She has written the children’s curriculum for Smyth & Helwys’s Annual Bible Study for the books of Daniel; Ezekiel; Luke; Jonah; 1 Corinthians; 1, 2, 3 John and Jude; Colossians; The Story of Israel’s Ancestors: Living toward a Promise; and Where Faith & Family Meet: A Book of Weekly Devotions. She has also written for CBF’s Spark and Form and for Affect in CBF’s fellowship! magazine. Married to Jonathan Oravec, Jessica reads every chance she gets.

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