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THE PEACEABLE KINGDOM from Isaiah 11:1-10

“The Peaceable Kingdom” is the title an early 19th-century painter, Edward Hicks, gave to his benign menagerie of animals – wild and domesticated. He based his work on the Isaiah 11 passage that speaks of such animals as the wolf, lamb, leopard, lion, kid and calf – all sharing the same pasture, grazing and resting together. Hicks’ vision, like that of Isaiah, is of a world of peace, of love and tranquility.

Travelers Insurance has capitalized on the very hope that animals thought to be natural enemies can find happiness living in peace.  In his letter to the church in Rome, Paul writes of such peace and harmony among God’s people, “May the God of hope full you with all joy and peace in believing …” (Romans 15:4-13)

And every year we find ourselves singing “peace on earth and goodwill toward men.”

Peace is mentioned 249 times in the Bible.  It is obviously a desired state since the beginning of time. So what does peace mean?  What would peace look like? Here is what one child wrote about peace:

Peace is sharing,
Peace is caring,
Peace is harmony.

Peace is love,
The symbol is a dove.

Peace is our freedom,
Peace is our friendship.

That’s what peace
Means to me.

Kelsey, Grade 2, Pennsylvania

Many recording artists have sung the old Gospel hymn, “Peace in the Valley.”  The words have been influenced by the Isaiah writing:

Well, the bear will be gentle and the wolf will be tame
And the lion shall lie down by the lamb
And the beasts from the wild shall be led by a child
And I’ll be changed from this creature that I am

There will be peace in the valley for me, some day
There will be peace in the valley for me, Lord, I pray
There will be no sadness, no sorrow, no trouble I see
There will be peace in the valley for me
There will be peace in the valley for me

I wish each of you peace in this season when peace seems so elusive.

The Rev. Peggy Tuttle

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