December 2022-January, 2023

Imagine if we approach our conversations and conflicts believing that everyone’s perspectives and ideas complement each other.  Mixing and blending to create new, more just, and peaceful ways of being.  Where power and wealth don’t influence the outcome.  What would that look like? 

The Old Testament lesson for Dec. 4, 2022, is Isaiah 11:1-10.  Isaiah wrote this after the invasion of Assyria and the annexation of the Northern Tribes of Israel.  Destruction and displacement, pain and suffering, resentment and hatred… where is/was God in all of this.  The prophet describes in vv. 6-9 a vision of God’s Kingdom so full of Hope and Peace that even predators and prey, competitors and enemies, live peacefully together.  You know the passage, lion and lamb lay down together and a little child leads them.   

The Peaceable Kingdom.  It’s a beautiful, peaceful scene.  As Christians we quickly embrace the peaceful-ness and label the child leader as the prophesized Jesus who would be Messiah, Christ.  All will be right and at peace when Jesus comes.  Yes, when Jesus speaks the magic words and performs the ritual act… Poof… there will be peace.  Actually, No.  Look deeper into the vision.   

The Peaceable Kingdom is the outcome of our hard work inspired and inspirited by God’s Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. (The Advent Themes)  The little child leads without power or resources to influence or manipulate.  The little child leads with eyes of wonder, a heart of love, and a mind of hope.  The little child welcomes together those on complete opposite sides to demonstrate the expansiveness of possibilities.  The little child does not judge what is better or insist upon an outcome. The little child leads with love and acceptance.  

The Peaceable Kingdom is the outcome of addressing and ending injustice.  What does it really take for predators to set aside their very nature to live peaceably with their food source?  What does it really take for aggressors to admit their war crimes and make restitution?  What does it really take for those with wealth and power to share their resources and relinquish control?  What does it really take to listen to the oppressed and marginalized and respond to their needs and concerns as they have identified them?  What does it really take for people of opposing opinions, or political parties or faith communities for that matter, to have a civil conversation and work for the well-being of all and not just themselves or those who ‘think like them’?    

The Peaceable Kingdom does not come from a magical Divine intervention that removes all conflict and hatred.  What would be the point?  Humanity wouldn’t learn anything from that?  The Peaceable Kingdom comes when we recognize the Divine in all of humanity – all of creation – and we deal with one another from that place of Divine blessedness.  None of us is completely right or completely wrong.  None of us has all the answers or the one solution.  Each of us has a piece of the solution, a part of the answer.   

I read a bit about color theory and the color wheel while preparing my sermon because of the paintings of Edward Hicks, a Quaker painter/preacher most noted for his almost 100 depictions of The Peaceable Kingdom.  What I learned about Complementary Colors directly correlates to the lessons of the Peaceable Kingdom.  Substitute the word Opinion or Perspective for the word Color 

>Complementary Colors are created by combining Primary Colors {each person’s lived experience} 

>Complimentary Colors are always made up of one cool color and one warm color  

>Complementary Colors are on direct opposite sides of the color wheel – no matter what shade or tone 

>Complementary Colors can be mixed to create effective neutral hues and blended for creating shadows 

>Simultaneous contrast occurs due to a natural illusion when you place two complementary colors next to 

    one another. Both colors will appear brighter and grab a viewer’s attention.”  ie: compromise 

Imagine if we approach our conversations and conflicts believing that everyone’s perspectives and ideas complement each other.  What would that look like?  Pretty Peaceful, I think. 

Blessings, Pastor Chellie 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s