This reading from Isaiah is an echo of the great Messianic chapter 11 and sets the tone for today’s lesson. New life comes from the Messiah, both now and in the new world to come.
Anyone who reads all 66 chapters of Isaiah straight through has done some heavy lifting, not just because of the size of the book, but because of its poetic style, repetition, and its inability to stay on one topic. If a modern American wrote the book, it would be thee chapters long.
Yet, Handel would have had a hard time writing the Messiah without it. Every Old Testament book points in some way to the coming Messiah, but none do so as powerfully as Isaiah. It is in that sense that we must consider today’s readings.
It is easy to hang up on the apocalyptic nature of both the Isaiah and Luke readings, but Jesus makes it clear that the point is more immediate. They will build houses… plant vineyards, does not sound like my idea of heaven. Isaiah was telling the people of the captivity that they would be able to do that after their return. But he was also using that image to let them know what it would be like in the new life after death in this life. The Bible is always speaking to us on both levels, now and in the future. Continue reading The Wolf and the Lamb will feed together