Saturday, December 14, 2013

Home for Christmas? 14

The prophet Isaiah wrote for the people of Israel when they were in exile in Babylon. Through him God promises that he will restore them to their land, and that there is a good future ahead of them. Isaiah pictures this as a time when all God's creatures  will be at home with one another.

Isaiah 11.6-9

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. 

The Peaceable Kingdom

Edward Hicks (April 4, 1780 – August 23, 1849), a member of the Society of Friends (Quakers) from Pennsylvania, painted many variations of this scene. In each there are subtle differences, and some scholars now believe that they represent the state of the Quaker community, which was beset with arguments at the time. The animals look more, or less, peaceable in the different versions!
File:Edward Hicks - Peaceable Kingdom.jpg

The idea of a world of peace and plenty has appealed to people in all ages. In this song "Big Rock Candy Mountain" which comes from the end of the 19th Century, Harry 'Haywire' McClintock wrote of his dream of a perfect world.

  • What would your perfect world be like?

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