Church of England Diocese of Leeds Grewelthorpe

Daily passage and reflection

Reflection Monday 23<sup>rd</sup> Nov.

Here are a series of reflections on symbols, images, and metaphors in the Bible. The last series of reflections followed the Book of Revelations, where much of its language and imagery comes from Isaiah, which seems a good place to start.

Reading: Isaiah 11:6-8 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. <sup> </sup>The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox.

Reflection: In this passage from Isaiah, the poetic imagery is both intriguing and powerful. The prophet depicts a time of total peace and harmony where even the animals are without fear and are at peace with one another. To envisage a time when animals are not bound by their natural instincts, where they are neither predator not prey is a high ideal, especially if taken literally. But here God is telling us that if such unity is possible in the animal kingdom, how much greater the possibility for humankind in the Kingdom to come. The words paint a strong picture of a time of great transformation where differences are resolved, and hostilities cease; a transformation whereby any natural propensity to violence and oppression, and any natural disposition to prey on the weak, would be changed completely. It speaks of a new age, or perhaps even a Golden Age, but certainly one where God’s Word holds dominion. Under God’s dominion both wolf and lamb, leopard and goat, lion and yearling will live together without conflict. A perfect metaphor for how we should live our lives in accordance with Christ’s teaching, particularly in a world which is polarized by political extremes, social and financial inequalities, racial tension, and religious intolerance.

Prayer: <strong>May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen </strong><strong>Paul’s letter to the Romans 15:5</strong><strong></strong>