Peaceful abundance - 4 June 2019

Xanthe Hancox

Everyone will sit under their own vine and under their own fig-tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the  Lord Almighty has spoken. All the nations may walk in the name of their gods, but we will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever. Micah 4:4-5

I’m a sucker for cooking shows. MasterChef Australia, The Great British Bake Off, you name it, I’ve seen it. But my all-time favourites are the ones in Italy or France where the host goes off wandering around the vineyards and inevitably cooks a glorious meal beneath a glowing green canopy of leafy vines. Perfection!

That’s the kind of peacefulness and joyful abundance I think of when I read the prophet Micah’s depiction of life in the kingdom of God which Jesus will fully establish on this earth when he comes again. Other Bible passages give us similar pictures. Isaiah 65:21-22 also speaks about the joy and satisfaction of eating: “They will build houses and dwell in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit. No longer will they build houses and others live in them, or plant and others eat.” Sounds like a much better heaven than sitting on a cloud with a harp if you ask me.

Although we will not fully experience such perfect peace until Jesus establishes his kingdom here on earth, we can – even now – see signs and catch glimpses of God’s sustaining care and his work among us in this world. The pressures and frantic pace of life are intensified by the dangers and deep-seated hatred among nations that we hear about in the daily news. But for all who are saved, “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard [our] hearts and [our] minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). We have a Shepherd who watches over us, and there is no need to fear. We know that although there is enmity between nations and we will face struggles in life, God is sovereign and his everlasting kingdom will prevail.

Prayer: When we are afraid, Lord, remind us of your loving care and strong presence. Remind us too, of the everlasting peaceful abdundance that you have promised us. In Christ, Amen.

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