The hope of God has the power to heal and reconcile broken relationships.
In Isaiah 11, the prophet begins by painting a powerful picture of what the Coming One of God will one day be like. The Spirit of the Lord will rest upon Him. Truth and justice will flow from Him. He will not judge unfairly, but instead He will strike down the wicked with nothing more than the words of His mouth. It is a powerful picture – and it is precisely what we see in Jesus. But this powerful picture is just the first part of Isaiah’s dream. His vision of the Messiah coming begs a question: what will be the fruit of His ministry? In response, Isaiah paints yet another picture. The wolf will lie with the lamb, the lion will eat grass and a child will play with the cobra and be unharmed. Not only will the Messiah judge and rule with truth, justice and power, the fruit of the His coming will cause enemies to become friends, and predators and prey to become family. In other words, healing, peace and reconciliation will flow to and through all our relationships. The Christmas season can be a beautiful time, but it can also be a reminder of the painful brokenness that exists in many of our relationships. But this reminder need not be the end of our stories – Jesus Christ came so that we might experience the joy of reconciliation with God, each other, ourselves and all of creation.