‘The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them.’ Isaiah 11:6 (ESV)
In November we take time to remember the fallen of past conflicts and those that remain but bear the scars of war as we gather around the country on Remembrance Sunday. It is a sombre and important time as we remember the cost that our way of life and our freedom has been bought at. As a town with a military base we have a constant reminder of the need for a readiness amongst our armed forces and it stands as a reflection of the world we live in. We live in quickly changing world where conflict amongst nations and individuals is the norm. However as believers we look to a time when there will be no more conflict, no more strife between nations or individuals. We look to the future glory when Christ’s kingdom that has broken in and we see in parts, is consummated at Christ’s return and we see it in its fullness. This is not some abstract hope of world peace or obscure thought of everybody being accepting of everything and everyone, this is about the promise of the new heaven and the new earth where God’s people will dwell in perfect harmony with each other and with a Holy God. The passage above with the animals protecting what they formerly devoured paints an image of the peace the new age ruled by Christ will bring. It beautifully illustrates the reality of the future hope that we have and should encourage us in the present age. Our relationship with a Holy God perfectly restored, the creation re-created perfectly and the love between God’s chosen people made perfect. All this made possible by the sacrifice of one who laid his life down for the many. We remember the fallen as we should but having recently celebrated Communion together we took time to consider the one that said, this do in remembrance of me, the one that gave his life not for the purpose of our earthly freedom but for the purpose of securing our eternal freedom. It is a freedom that many have no thought of and give no consideration to but we pray that in the days ahead many would turn to Christ and know true peace and reconciliation with a righteous God. May the Lord encourage you today as you look to the future and may he equip you in His service.