Pillar Journal
Vol. 5 No.1 / Advent 2022 - A seasonal journal produced by Pillar Church in Holland, MI to guide us through the Christian year.
Pillar Journal

Week 1 – No. 1

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The wolf shall live with the lamb,
the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
and a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze,
their young shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,
and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.
They will not hurt or destroy
on all my holy mountain;
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
– Isaiah 11

Isaiah, a commonly recognized prophet in the Bible, is known for his intentional posture of hope and pursuit in the belief of the returning Messiah; his name meaning “Yahweh is salvation.” Isaiah firmly believed what Christians also believe: the Savior we know and love, who intimately knows and loves us deeply, will one day return to this earth and redeem all that is broken in this world; the world that He has already overcome.

These poetic verses depict this belief, while painting a setting in which the natural enemies of this fallen world will commune with one another, despite their differences and the unresolved tensions that hinder them. When Jesus was born to heal, tend to, comfort and ultimately save humanity, He knew also what the hope for this world has always been; to live with one another in complete peace, loving even the enemies that stir resentment or fear within us.

The omniscient, omnipresent God that dwells with us today became fully human, coming down to this earth as a vulnerable, meek infant in desperate need of nurture and care. Could it be that God came to us in this way to represent a similar nature in which we should care for one another; that pesky coworker, an abandoned parent, our rude neighbor?

Jesus looks forward to the day where He will return to us, accomplishing the fulfillment of our deepest wounds, the relationships in which heartache dwells more deeply than we could’ve imagined possible. Perhaps a hurt so obscure, it has created a wall between you and your heavenly father you may not even be fully aware of.

While much of the time it feels consuming and heart-rending to mull over the wounds that have given us enemies, we are fortunate enough to have a God that knows our pain and puts it to rest; sometimes inch by inch, and at other times instantly. We have a God who yearns for you to lay your troubles, all of them, at His feet, so that you may be free to live in His desired peace for you.

As sincere lovers of Jesus, we are called to put our hope in a God who is already redeeming today, who has already overcome the suffering in this world, and who will one day redeem it all entirely, empowering us to forgive and live in complete harmony with those who have betrayed us intensely by His strength alone.

God desires to give you a life offering even glimpses of this complete restoration and reconciliation.

Let us rest throughout this season in that promise; that by the life of Jesus, we will one day be the lamb befriending the wolf.

Liv Maat, Advent 2022
Image: Jan Propst

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