Peace Starts in Unlikely Places
I. Let’s START with the picture of PEACE. (v.6-9)
A. All CREATION in HARMONY. (v.6,7; Rom. 8:19-22)
B. No NEED to FEAR. (v.8-9; 1 Jn 4:18)
C. ROOTED in the KNOWLEDGE of God. (v.9; Col. 1:9-10; 2 Peter 1:2; 2 Cor.4:6)
For today’s text we will look at the end to better grasp the beginning. Isaiah paints a vision of peace that is poetic and beautiful. He pairs animals and people in ways that make the point…peace is possible. It’s a powerful vision and the central theme of the second week of Advent.
1. Kid’s Question: What does “peace” mean to you? What would your world look like if it was peaceful?
2. What is the most compelling aspect for you in Isaiah’s vision of the peace that Jesus will bring? Why?
II. Let’s NOTICE where PEACE comes from. (v.1)
A. From a PLACE that appears DEAD. (v.1)
B. From DEEP within the ROOTS. (v.1)
C. In SMALL but FRUITFUL ways. (v.1)
This great vision of peace starts in a very unlikely place. There’s a stump…all that’s left of Jesse’s family, the family of King David. It looks as if the tree is all done, but then something changes. In this vision of a small shoot coming out of a stump we begin to see the way peace comes into our world.
3. What are (and where are) the dead stumps in your own life? What might it look like for God to bring peace out of those places?
4. What is the significance of the shoot being small but fruitful? Do we usually want peace to come in big ways? Why?
III. Let’s REALIZE that peace is a PERSON. (v.2-5)
A. An EMBODIMENT of the SPIRIT. (v.2; Col. 2:9)
B. A PRACTICE of awed DELIGHT. (v.3; Lk. 10:21)
C. ACTION flowing from divine WISDOM. (v.3-5; Rev. 21:5)
Isaiah continues by reminding us that peace isn’t a concept or an idea, it is embodied in a person – the promised Messiah. Peace comes through the rule of the coming King. The vision doesn’t just come about miraculously, there is a person who initiates this new and renewed creation.
5. What might it look like in your life to “delight in the fear of the Lord”?
6. How dependent are you on what you see and hear for the “judgments” you make? How might God help you to view the world from a deeper place?
IV. Let’s not stop HOPING for PEACE. (Lk. 19:41-42,44)
A. Don’t GIVE up on your STUMPS. (v.1; Is. 61:1-3)
B. ROOT yourself in KNOWING Jesus. (v.9; Phil. 3:7-8)
C. Embrace the PEACE/PERSON, release the FEAR. (Mt. 11:28-30)
So back to our world full of stumps, places of life where we feel there is no hope that anything good could ever come. How does the second week of Advent remind us that the coming babe would impact all the dead places of our lives?
7. What are a couple of practices that you can engage in to help root yourself more deeply in knowing Jesus? How will you commit to those?
8. What fears is Christ calling you to release? How will you do that tangibly and practically? How will you know when you’ve released them?