Tuesday of the First Week of Advent
(Isaiah 11:1-10; Luke 10:21-24)
Vladimir the Great consolidated the rule of Russia, the Ukraine, and Belarus – three nations with independent traditions. In 988 his baptism into Orthodox Christianity gave an evangelical purpose to the peace Vladimir brought to the land. Today’s reading from the prophet Isiah foreshadows the coming of Christ and intimates the legacy of peace left for rulers like Vladimir.
Isaiah lives in a time of political turbulence. He preaches in Judah, a small kingdom always threatened by mighty neighbors. The prophet exhorts the people to trust in God for deliverance from their enemies. In the passage just read he indicates that Judah will have a ruler who will tame wolves and lions to live in peace. That leader, blessed with the Spirit of wisdom, will be known for treating the poor with justice. The prophet, of course, is painting a landscape of Christ’s reign.
We, like Vladimir the Great. are heirs to the legacy of Jesus. We may not rule nations but we do have some authority, at least about ourselves. We want to put to rest the warring desires for self-gratification and power. We can do so by recognizing that the greatest satisfaction comes with pleasing the Lord and the supreme demonstration of power is the faithful submission of oneself to the will of God.