A shoot shall come out from the stock of Jesse,
and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him,
the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of counsel and might,
the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide by what his ears hear;
but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist,
and faithfulness the belt around his loins.
The wolf shall live with the lamb,
the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
and a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze,
their young shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,
and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder's den.
They will not hurt or destroy
on all my holy mountain;
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
On that day the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples; the nations shall inquire of
him, and his dwelling shall be glorious.
This is the scripture that Jesus quoted when he began his ministry in Nazareth. He knew his
family history having been born in Bethlehem, David's town. Jesus quoted this scripture following
his baptism when he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove. The story of the church is
how the Holy Spirit transforms people. Saint Paul said he could do all things through Christ who
strengthens him. Delight in (the fear of) the Lord. We live in an age of fake news. We are asked to believe all sorts of things. Jesus does not judge by appearances or contrived situations. Justice and fairness (righteousness) guided his life. The image of righteousness as a belt reminds us of Paul's armour of God (where righteousness is the breastplate, and the belt is truth). Sometimes things seem inevitable. There are things we see, either in history or modern society, which we seem powerless to control. Knife crime, poverty, materialism or just plain selfishness blind to the need of others. Isaiah's vision is that what we call inevitable will change when the earth is filled with knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the (rising) sea.
Father, when we see a lost and troubled world, and when we are aware of the sadness, sorrow
and pain all around us, we pray, send your word of hope, love and joy to bring an end to guilt and
fear and suffering. Lord in your mercy ... (David Clowes)