1/3-15/4 . 2017
Devotions For LENT Season
500 Years of Reformation
“Liberated by God’s Grace”-the Lutheran World Federation’s main theme for the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation – is closely linked to the doctrine of justification by faith which, in the Lutheran tradition, has also been called “the doctrine by which the church stands or falls” (articulusstantisetcadentis ecclesiae). The central insight of this doctrine, namely that in Christ God’s grace is given to us as a free and unconditional gift, evokes a response of gratitude, expressing itself in the loving and caring engagement with human beings and the whole of creation.....A world without grace would end up being an inhumane world. A theology centered on justification by faith holds on to the concept of grace since, in biblical terms, justification promises God’s unconditional acceptance of human beings. Showing love is the response to God’s abundant love for human beings, not an attempt to “earn” God’s love by “good deeds.” (p.7 : Anne Burghardt)
Isaiah 55:1-2 (NKJV) An Invitation to Abundant Life
1“Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat.
Yes, come, buy wine and milk Without money and without price.
2 Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And let your soul delight itself in abundance.
01. Wednesday 1/3/2017 (Ash Wednesday)
John 3:16-21 Salvation - Not for Sale
“Justification by faith alone” means not trusting in our own abilities but solely in God. Faith means trusting that God has already done all that is necessary for our salvation when Christ took everything upon himself that we ourselves have to answer for…..The reason why God views us as righteous does not lie within ourselves. Righteousness “before God” derives entirely “from God.”What does it mean to you, to be “justified by faith alone”? How does this impact your understanding of life?
02. Thursday 2/3/2017
Genesis 1:26-31 Human Beings – Not for Sale
Luther’s perception of the human condition is realistic in the sense that he fully acknowledges the power of sin and the dependence on God’s life giving grace…..Human beings are God’s creatures and benefit from God’s providence in all circumstances. They are created in the image of God and will be renewed through God’s grace. God’s grace is not for sale and, correspondingly, human beings are not for sale. Lutheran theology is challenging as it combines a strong sense of sin with a strong sense of responsibility. In light of God’s grace we may be more realistic and, at the same time, the gospel opens our sense for taking responsibility for the sake of the other.
How can you relate to this in your context ?
03. Friday 3/3/2017
Genesis 1:20-25 Creation – Not for Sale
God sees each creature as “good.” By calling each creature good, God initiates an ongoing relationship of love with the earth and with each of its creatures…..For God, earth’s ongoing creative ability - the process evolutionary biologists describe as its capacity for bringing forth new species - is “good.”
04. Saturday 4/3/2017
Romans 1:16-17 Salvation - Not for Sale
Justification is therefore the source of our love for our neighbours. We essentially pass on the joy to our neighbours that we receive by being accepted by God in Christ. Luther was thus able to say that we ourselves become “Christ” to our neighbours.
Where do you experience “gifts of grace” in your life? How do you see the role of “good works”?
Liberated by God’s Grace
First Sunday in Lent (5/3/2017)
Precisely for that reason, the Christian faith will insist on the fact that mercy is part of our humanity. That was always clear to Martin Luther and he emphasized it often. It is empathy that makes a person a person. We would remain a machine if we could not show compassion, sympathy and love. Only the one who can serve is really free. “Freedom from” must correspond to “freedom to.” Only then will it receive the seal of quality. Mere independence can be just as despotic as pure arbitrariness. It needs to be bound to what is good. In the global world of the twenty-fist century, tolerance is becoming a central condition for peace.
Is it right to claim the gospel ultimately liberates us from intolerance?
How far may Christian tolerance go without becoming arbitrariness?
05. Monday 6/3/2017
Psalm 82:1-5 Human Beings – Not for Sale
Human trafficking has reached dimensions that are comparable with other illegal businesses such as drug trafficking. People are exploited in several ways, including sexual exploitation, forced labour, low wages and heavy workload. Worldwide, women and children are forced into abusive labour, prostitution and exploitation.
What do you know about “human trafficking” today in your own context?
06. Tuesday 7/3/2017
Genesis 6:1-5 Creation – Not for Sale
If “good” is understood primarily in terms of private gain, without considering the consequences for our neighbour, for future generations or for ecosystems, we are all imperiled. God calls us to see the goodness of creation by valuing inter-relationships most of all.
What does it mean to say that God’s creation is “good, very good” in an age
when everything is for sale? Is anything priceless?
07. Wednesday 8/3/2017
Ephesians 2:4-10 Salvation - Not for Sale
The doctrine of justification by faith alone can thus continue to have a meaning for us today that liberates us, provides us relief and gives us courage. The doctrine can raise our awareness for how God affirms us unconditionally. God has already accepted us before we can do anything for it…..God offers dignity even when people degrade and despise others. God opens up new horizons when situations seem hopeless. God frees us to take new action when we are otherwise paralyzed. “By faith alone” can mean that this affirmation, this acceptance, this dignity, this encouragement, this new hope—all of this is a gift.
What would you describe as your “everyday worship”?
08. Thursday 9/3/2017
Psalm 139:13-18 Human Beings – Not for Sale
The theology of resistance is the theology that helps human beings to be conscious of themselves and to fiht against trafficking: the selling and buying of humans as objects for the benefit of the traffickers and the employers…..They need to be fully aware of their human dignity and what they are subjected to - both in the positive and the negative sense - and to deal with it rather than simply submitting to it.
How might our understanding of “being created in the image of God” impact the way in which we live today?
09. Friday 10/3/2017
Genesis 9:1-7 Creation – Not for Sale
The Lutheran theology of the cross - the insistence that God is present also and even most of all in brokenness and pain - can also help us to face the sin of ecological devastation, the injustice of the effects of climate change on the poorest of the poor - and to formulate an analysis of both sin and redemption capable of addressing the ecological crisis.
What steps of eco-Reformation might be needed and are possible in your church context?
Do we need to put a price on the creation, on ecosystems, in order to value them?
10. Saturday 11/3/2017
Romans 6:4-7 Salvation - Not for Sale
Many Christian teachers of the fist centuries believed that Baptism can set a person free from the power of fate - that anyone who is baptized belongs to Christ (Christ owns them) and not to fate (fate no longer owns them), and the planets do not have any impact on them. However, this faith has not proved to be a satisfactory solution to many Christian thinkers who have tried to fid an answer to the question about freedom of the will.
Liberated by God’s Grace
Second Sunday in Lent (12/3/2017)
The core message of the Lutheran Reformation is that justification by faith is the doctrine by which the church stands or falls….. It has often been presented as the fie so-called solaeor guiding principles of Lutheran theology: by Scripture alone (sola scriptura); by faith alone (sola fie); by grace alone (sola gratia); through Christ alone (solo Christo); and glory to God alone (soli Deogloria). The simultaneous relation to God and to our neighbour is fundamental in this understanding, as it is in Jesus’ teaching on the greatest commandment of loving God and one’s neighbour. Crucial to Luther’s understanding is that out of our own strength we are not able to love God nor our neighbor as our vocation claims, but in Christ and empowered by God’s Spirit this is not only possible but is what in fact it means to be a Christian.
How is active citizenship understood and practiced where you live?
What are the challenges? In what way could the Lutheran ethics of vocation be activated in order to strengthen the concept of active citizenship?
11. Monday 13/3/2017
Exodus 21:14-16 Human Beings – Not for Sale
It should be self-evident that the church as a community of believers should be disturbed by human trafficking and the appalling ways in which this affects the rights of individuals. The violation of a human being constitutes a violation of God’s temple.
What are the challenges that the church faces in putting this understanding of being created in the image of God into action and how do we interpret this in the light of human trafficking?
12. Tuesday 14/3/2017
Romans 8:14-23 Creation – Not for Sale
The obedience to the will of God grows out of the response in faith and gratitude to God. As Luther so excellently shows, this is a response that is an integral part of living as a created being, surrounded by all the good things God has provided for us with creation and with the spiritual gifts bestowed upon us in Christ…..Ultimately, we are called to live our lives in responsive community with God and with our fellow creatures.
Does the concept of the human being as a “responsive being” carry more weight theologically than the alternative “created co creator”?
13. Wednesday 15/3/2017
Romans 7:14-19 Salvation - Not for Sale
According to Luther, human will is enslaved by sin, and when the Augsburg Confession of 1530 touches upon the issue of free will, it says that human will “has some freedom for producing civil righteousness and for choosing things subject to reason.”
Why is the question about the existence of the freedom of the will important for us? What depends on the answer to this question? Which impact does it have on our lives ?
14. Thursday 16/3/2017
Deuteronomy 10:17-19 Human Beings – Not for Sale
Refugee empowerment goes far beyond providing the necessities of life. Supporting children and adult education, providing meaningful activities and strengthening refugee capacity for protecting their rights all move us toward the goal of empowerment rather than providing charity alone.
Are there refugees present in your community? In what ways do government or church agencies respond to their needs ?
15. Friday 17/3/2017
Psalm 139:1-6 Creation – Not for Sale
The concept of responsiveness lies deeply within the Lutheran tradition, and emphasizes the human being as living in responsive community with God and fellow creatures…..we have a responsibility and calling. We are called to do our very best in developing new kinds of biotechnology and improving on current approaches to science and medicine.
What kinds of genetic engineering can we endorse theologically, and where should we be cautious ?
16. Saturday 18/3/2017
2 Corinthians 5:17-20 Salvation - Not for Sale
In view of our relationship to God, Luther’s conviction that it is not our conduct or performance, but God’s grace that moves God to save us is still valid. We are not saved by God’s grace plus our good works or anything we do. We cannot so to speak, “buy our way to heaven.” We are saved by God’s grace alone.
Does the existence or non-existence of the freedom of the will have an impact on the relationship between human beings and God and if yes, then how?
*Liberated by God’s Grace
Third Sunday in Lent (19/3/2017)
Luther’s theology was founded on taking the biblical message seriously in a radical and unconditional manner, inasmuch as they had as their content Christ and the gospel founded in him. For Luther, these messages of Holy Scripture had an unconditional validity and supplanted the empirical experience of people, their intellectual and philosophical convictions and their traditions.(p.48 :Hans-Peter Grosshans) The main area of interest for modern Lutheran hermeneutics is the interpretation of biblical texts not with the goal of confirming our own selves and ideas but critically to listen to God’s Word in respect to our own lives in our particular contexts and situations.(p.55 : Hans-Peter Grosshans)
What expectations do you have when you read or hear a biblical text?
Do you expect the biblical passage to tell you something meaningful for your personal life and your understanding of the world? Should the interpretation of biblical texts be adapted to contemporary understandings?
17. Monday 20/3/2017
Matthew 25:34-40 Human Beings – Not for Sale
It is a challenge for our global communion not only to address the root causes of economic migration, but to assist those migrants and refugees struggling to live in the host countries. One real issue related to the lack of legal, economic and cultural integration is that migrants are moving all over the world, serving the wealthy. This leads to the exploitation of unprotected labourers. If human beings are not for sale, they must be respected in every context. The exploitation of labour is unacceptable in the eyes of our Lord.
18. Tuesday 21/3/2017
Jeremiah 29:11-14 Creation – Not for Sale
God freely chose to create the world and let human beings control it. Human beings are also blessed with the freedom to choose. We try to choose what we believe is right using our God-given free will, but unfortunately we very often fail. Human will, even though it is a gift from God, is in bondage to sin as Luther expounded in “On the Bondage of the Will.”
Do you think the conventional understanding of Theodoric (explanation of why a perfectly good, almighty and all-knowing God permits evil) is meaningful in witnessing God in today world? If yes, why and how?
19. Wednesday 22/3/2017
Romans 8:18-21 Salvation - Not for Sale
The Christian message does not take away the agony, frustration, or unanswered questions of human life. It does not promise victory or success now. Instead, it declares that “the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
All Christian believers ask God for blessings of all kinds, both physical and spiritual.
What is the right way to ask?
What is the right way to receive? What is the right way to respond when we do not receive what we ask for?
20. Thursday 23/3/2017
1 John 3:16-19 Human Beings – Not for Sale
Today, our world is struggling to hon our the equality of each human being before God. Our God-given equality and dignity mean that no human being can ever be accepted as being for sale. No human trafficking scheme, no sexual exploitation, no unjust system of labour can ever escape God’s judgment through the critical engagement of God’s church.
21. Friday 24/3/2017
2 Corinthians 4:15-18 Creation – Not for Sale
God was there as ultimate goodness. God’s goodness cannot be measured by human reasoning. Suffering should not be an indicator for how much a human being has merited or sinned. Retributive justice, a conventional view of God’s judgment that regards human suffering as punishment, is denied.
Why is important for us as citizens of the earth to maintain God’s good creation?
22. Saturday 25/3/2017
2 Timothy 2:7-13 Salvation - Not for Sale
Martyrdoms have followed the faithful in all ages - and the last century has seen more Christian martyrdoms than any other period - but we understand them as testimonies to the faithfulness, not the failure, of God.
Think about how you and the people in your society and church respond to the rich and successful, and to the poor and struggling. Do these attitudes reflect Jesus’ teaching and example?
*Liberated by God’s Grace
Forth Sunday in Lent (26/3/2017)
There is no greater sinner or better saint since “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Christ died once for all. Therefore, every sinner, whether man or woman, liberated from the penalty of their sins has a new birth and is a new person. Justification by faith should thus become visible at the level of the family through the implementation of gender justice. Gender justice liberates members of a family to look for better ways to care for one another by assuming different tasks and roles that might not always correspond to “traditional” gender roles.
How far does God’s liberating grace extend in church and society in your context and does your church see justice as part of God’s liberating grace? How can gender injustice and exclusiveness be overcome in your context?
23. Monday 27/3/2017
1 Corinthians 12:28-31 Human Beings – Not for Sale
Leadership in sustainable churches is a whole collection of processes that motivates the action of many individuals toward fulfilling the call given by God in that context. Leadership is thus a dynamic interactive process that takes place within a group or organization or a network of organizations…..with a range of abilities to encourage, help and organize, facilitate processes, motivate baptized members and create networks within and outside the church.
How would you describe the role of the church leadership in your context?
24. Tuesday 28/3/2017
Romans 1:18-23 Creation – Not for Sale
“God created humankind in his image; in the image of God he created them” (Genesis 1:28). According to Genesis, being created in the image of God is something that is only granted to human beings. It presupposes our ability to think about, to remember anod to believe in our Creator. This gives human beings the ability to respond to God’s call and to create a relationship with God.
25. Wednesday 29/3/2017
Romans 5:1-11 Salvation - Not for Sale
The gospel is nothing other than God’s self-giving for us and for our salvation, purely gracious, purely entirely on account of who God is – a friend of sinners and lover of enemies.Imagine how you might respond to another Christian who perceives God as a means to this - worldly success.
How might you articulate the truth that the gospel is enough, that God is enough, even in the midst of struggle and suffering?
26. Thursday 30/3/2017
Romans 12:1-9 Human Beings – Not for Sale
Leadership in sustainable churches implies lay persons, ministers, women, youth, elderly, people with only one talent and people with many talents relating to one another and mutually sharing tasks - tasks that will never be perfect. They will reach agreements, plan, carry out joint activities, be mutually accountable and together celebrate, one with another. Creativity and innovation are understood as the ability to fid innovative and original ways to solve problems, using the gifts and talents, wisdom, courage and prudence that God gives us to fid solutions in a different way.
How could laity support participatory leadership in the church? What kind of abilities and aptitudes should it have for this?
27. Friday 31/3/2017
Psalm 8:1-9 Creation – Not for Sale
We are responsible for God’s creation. Our relationship vis-à-vis the other creatures is indeed defied by four verbs in Genesis 1 and 2: “to subdue” and “to have dominion” (Genesis 1:28); “to cultivate” and “to keep” (Genesis 2:15). The fist two verbs have been misinterpreted as constituting a command to exploit nature. For instance, the French philosopher, René Descartes, famously spoke of the human being as the master and owner of nature.
28. Saturday 1/4/2017
Matthew 6:9-15 Salvation - Not for Sale
The Lord’s Prayer takes our hearts to God, praising God for God’s holiness, God’s realm that is among us and the fulfiment of God’s will both on earth and in heaven. Then the prayer takes God to us, lets God meet our needs—both the physical and the spiritual ones.
In which ways have you experienced prayer as empowering and trans formative?
*Liberated by God’s Grace
Fifth Sunday in Lent (2/4/2017)
The Reformation movement played a vital role by developing its own teaching systems and taking into consideration human needs and expectations. It is said that achieving the highest educational standard and professional qualifiation is considered as one of the most important
aspects of Protestant identity. Well-educated, mature and responsible Christians and citizens have been empowered through education to understand in depth, differentiate between primary and secondary questions and to be creative, open minded and responsive to the needs of others.
What has been the most important contribution of your church to
education? How is it linked to the ideas emerging from the Reformation? In your opinion, what kind of educational responsibilities and challenges emerge from the understanding that human beings are liberated by God´s grace?
29. Monday 3/4/2017
Philippians 2:1-5 Human Beings – Not for Sale
The solidarity group further developed the concept of conviviality, defiling it as the art and practice of living together in solidarity. The art and practice of living together has given rise to a new challenge, especially in light of increasingly diverse communities. Conviviality is part of the essence of every human being. All people are created in the full diversity of God’s own image and by getting to know one another and by acting together people join in God’s creative work. However, the art and practice of living together require curiosity and a willingness to
learn from one another.
What does conviviality mean in your local context and what can you do
together with other people in order to strengthen it? What are the issues which might pose a threat to conviviality in your context?
30. Tuesday 4/4/2017
Isaiah 24:1-6 Creation – Not for Sale
Climate change is the result of a corrupt relationship with the whole of creation, including one’s fellow human beings. By regarding creation as a stock of resources to be extracted, exploited and burnt until the last remaining accessible molecule, whatever the price in human and creation terms, a minority has put itself in a situation of sin.
Does your country already experience the consequences of climate
change? Is your church committed to the issue? How could it address
climate change further?
31. Wednesday 5/4/2017
Matthew 7:7-11 Salvation - Not for Sale
God gives us what is good for us. Petitions are sometimes fulfiled differently than the praying person thought. How God hears our prayers and how God fulfis them remains a miracle.
What would you think of as being the most frequent misuses of prayer?
32. Thursday 6/4/2017
Acts 4:31-35 Human Beings – Not for Sale
Solidarity implies a mutual effort to create a better environment for living together and, by extension, to create a better world. Solidarity implies joint activities for the common good.
The art and practice of living together in solidarity is the basis for the diaconal congregation and local diaconal practice. The search for justice is based on a diaconal community where the entire community is looking for justice. Human beings in their diversity are created in the image of God and thus possess a God-given dignity. What added value does the concept of conviviality bring to theology and spirituality?
33. Friday 7/4/2017
Genesis 2:18-25 Creation – Not for Sale
In its own distinctive way, the earth unites us all: beyond any individual or collective efforts, and beyond any doctrinal or racial differences. We may or may not share religious convictions or political principles. But we do share an experience of the environment: we share the air that we breathe, the water that we drink, and the ground that we tread—albeit neither always equally nor always fairly. But by some mysterious connection that we do not always understand (and sometimes choose to ignore), the earth itself reminds us of our interconnectedness.
What elements of your tradition do you share with the spiritual tradition
of the Orthodox Church in experiencing and expressing the sacredness of God’s creation?
34. Saturday 8/4/2017
Jeremiah 29:11-13 Salvation - Not for Sale
Salvation as well as prayers cannot be for sale because what are essential to Christian prayer are not the magic elements but faith and the readiness to entrust your life into God’s hands.
Why should Christians pray and why is communal prayer important?
*Liberated by God’s Grace
Palm Sunday (9/4/2017)
In “The Freedom of a Christian,” Martin Luther emphasizes the power of faith as believing in God’s promise of a new life. When we believe in God’ saving grace as a gift freely given and an expression of God’s love, then we are freed from the worry about our place before God or about
being a “good enough” person to be loved by God. God’s love is power for transformation. In the waters of holy baptism we are transformed by God’s love, claimed as children of God, gathered around God’s Word and sent for the sake of the world. Having faith to believe in God’s promise of new life the Holy Spirit empowers us to create new ways of being the church (the body of Christ) together.
What have you been freed from and what are you freed for? What
change in the world do you wish to see? How can you as a person of faith help make that change? What does being Lutheran mean to you?
35. Monday 10/4/2017 (Holy Monday)
Luke 11:9-13 Human Beings – Not for Sale
Is there ever a parent who would want to destroy his child? It can and does happen but is destroying one’s own child not the most awful thing that can happen? Children can sometimes make their parents’ lives very diffiult but destroying is not part of a parent’s vocabulary when talking about their children. Parents are the child’s source of life. How could they ever willingly
take away that life? Whatever the child does, this is not allowed. A child is not a commodity that one can simply eradicate.
36. Tuesday 11/4/2017 (Holy Tuesday)
Psalm 119:73-80 Creation – Not for Sale
We forget that we are less than human without God, less than human without each other, and less than human without creation…..Therefore, what we ultimately need is a discipline of humility. For, pride is a uniquely human attribute; it belongs to Adam. Whereas humility through simplicity can reconcile a world otherwise divided by pride; frugality and communion
will preserve a planet otherwise exploited by greed. If we are guilty of relentless waste in our world, it may well be because we have lost the spirit of simplicity and the spirituality of compassion.
What elements of your tradition are unique in perceiving our relationship with and responsibility toward our planet?
37. Wednesday 12/4/2017 (Holy Wednesday)
Revelation 1:4-8 Salvation - Not for Sale
In “On the Freedom of a Christian,” Martin Luther expressed the hope that the term priest would become popular because he believed justifid by the grace of God through faith to mean that every Christian believer is a priest.
Do you believe that “religion” offers liberative transformation and a selfemancipating identity to those who, because of their traditional occupations, are denied of their self-respect and human dignity?
38.Thursday 13/4/2017 (Maundy Thursday)
Exodus 32:7-14 Human Beings – Not for Sale
It cannot be denied that putting human beings up for sale is unjust. The prophetic voice has to be raised against that. The unique conflct within God, who wanted to do away with God’s people, and God’s repentance, can only lead to the fim conviction that humans are never a disposable commodity. We should speak out against this evil with the same commitment as once Moses pleaded with God not to put the people of Israel for sale, because that is an evil God repented of.
39. Friday 14/4/2017 (Good Friday)
Isaiah 55:6-13 Creation – Not for Sale
We will surely be judged for the abuse of the earth that has been entrusted to us “to preserve” as well as for the unjust distribution of its resources to human beings that we are called “to serve” - namely, for the devastation of God’s creation by human beings unjustly usurping the right to control it and arrogantly presuming the right to manipulate it, as well as for the exploitation of the poor (and the poor nations) by the rich (and the rich nations).Nevertheless, if we open ourselves - if we avail ourselves and become sensitive - to all people and to the whole creation, then we shall
recognize our history as inextricably linked to the destiny of the whole world.
How can you/your congregation/your community change hardened habits related to your attitudes and practices toward the natural environment?
40. Saturday 15/4/2017 (Holy Saturday)
Ephesians 4:10-16 Salvation - Not for Sale
In the theology of cross, the believers understand the church as the people of God, nurturing themselves on the faithfulness of God and sharing their gifts with their neighbour thereby moving into a wider, ecumenical community.
Do you agree that Luther’s Theology of the Cross offers not only an
eschatological hope, but also the here and now reality that Godheads the cries of the suffering, identifis with the discriminated against and offers aholistic liberation to them?
Liberated by God’s Grace
The God of grace and peace provides in the gospel the ultimate foundation for true liberation, at once both personal yet extended to all creation, inaugurating a realm where heaven and earth is in a process of becoming one reality. Martin Luther’s discovery of the grace of God not only addressed his own need for personal assurance from his spiritual angst, it sparked a movement of ongoing reform, the heart of which must always be shaped by and draw us back to a deeper appreciation of the great gospel message of grace and peace. To God be the glory! Isaiah 65:17-25 (NKJV)The Glorious New Creation “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; For behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, And her people a joy. I will rejoice in Jerusalem, And joy in My people; The voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, Nor the voice of crying. “No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, Nor an old man who has not fulfiled his days; For the child shall die one hundred years old, But the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed.
They shall build houses and inhabit them; They shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit; They shall not plant and another eat; For as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people, And My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
They shall not labour in vain, Nor bring forth children for trouble; For they shall be the descendants of the blessed of the Lord, And their offspring with them.“It shall come to pass That before they call, I will answer; And while they are still speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, The lion shall eat straw like the ox, And dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,” Says the Lord.