Pause

Lay you down your burdens, all your fears
And I don't need your deepest secrets whispered in my ear
'Cause I can hear your heart

from “Hear Your Heart,” James Bay, 2015

At this moment, let your heart be open, because God can hear your heart.

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Listen

The wolf will live with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the young goat; the calf and the young lion will feed together, and a little child will lead them. The cow and the bear will graze. Their young will lie down together, and a lion will eat straw like an ox. A nursing child will play over the snake’s hole; toddlers will reach right over the serpent’s den. They won’t harm or destroy anywhere on my holy mountain. The earth will surely be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, just as the water covers the sea.

On that day, the root of Jesse will stand as a signal to the peoples. The nations will seek him out, and his dwelling will be glorious.

Isaiah 11:6-10

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Think

Can you imagine going to the zoo with no cages? All the animals are roaming everywhere. The lions, tigers, and bears — I hope you said, “Oh my”— along with the zebras, sheep, and rabbits. Initially I would run, because all my life I have been conditioned to think they are wild and dangerous. (Not realizing they have always lived in the wild together!) Yet in the picture painted by this passage in Isaiah, not only do the animals live together but they also are at peace with each other.

So often, we put up walls against those we despise, those we are scared of, or even those who have hurt us. Think for a moment about who those people are in your life. Now, think about what it would look like if we ate, played, and prayed with them. I suppose it would be much like this passage.

I dare you to find your wolf, hear the leopard’s perspective, and eat with the bear and the lion. Today, may we start living into this picture of peace.

Timothy Peoples

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Pray

God of all things, give me strength to tear down my walls and remove the bars that encage my heart. May today bring a change of perspective on who I thought was my enemy. Amen.

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Go

The Lord bless you and protect you.

The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you.

The Lord lift up his face to you and grant you peace.

Numbers 6:24-26

Timothy Peoples

Timothy Peoples is a native of Jones, Oklahoma. He attended Adrian College in Adrian, Michigan where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies. After graduating college, Tim began his formal training for ministry at Yale Divinity School. Currently, Tim is a Pastoral Resident at Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas.

Advent Waiting: Still, Still, Still

David Burroughs

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