Today’s Bible readings

His authority shall grow continually,
    and there shall be endless peace
for the throne of David and his kingdom.
    He will establish and uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
    from this time onward and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. — Isaiah 9:7

“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” — Romans 14:17

More thoughts for meditation

Finding the promised peace and living out the land of ‘milk and honey’ calls us to imagine that we can actively and tangibly create a world in God’s vision. This takes a radical imagination. It means that while we look to joy to hold us up, we acknowledge grief and suffering. Woodley quotes Walter Brueggemann: 

The Bible is not romantic about its vision. It never assumes shalom will come naturally or automatically. Indeed, there are many ways of compromising God’s will for shalom. One way the community can say no to the vision and live without shalom is to decieve itself into thinking that its private arrangements of injustice and exploitation are suitable ways of living…The prophetic vision of shalom stands against all private arrangements, all “separate peaces,” all ghettos that pretend the others are not there. Religious legitimacy in the service of self-deceiving well-being is a form of chaos. Shalom is never the private property of the few.

To understand many things you must reach out
of your own condition.
For how many years did I wander slowly 
Through the forest. What wonder and
glory would I have missed had I ever been
in a hurry! –Mary Oliver

Suggestions for action

Take some time to imagine what a new world would look like. Imagine at your neighborhood level, as well as the national and global. What would it take to actively participate in communities where we stop deceiving and start living in love?

Pray: May the kingdom of peace be upon us. May I be a messenger of peace. Shalom.