Hope or laughter?

Here's this week's Bible study blog entry for i.ucc.org:

Famous child leaders:
  • King Tut – known ultimately for having a tomb that was left untouched by grave robbers until discovered in the 1920s
  • Pu Yi – the last emperor of China – lived the later years of his life as a gardener.
  • You have Kings Joash and Josiah from the Old Testament. Joash (2 Kings 11 and 12) became king at age 7. His servants killed him when he was 30. Josiah (2 Kings 22 and 23) became king when he was 8. He had quite a go as King – being described like this:

(2 Kings 23:25 NRSV) Before him there was no king like him, who turned to the LORD with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; nor did any like him arise after him.

He was killed by the Egyptian Pharaoh Neco when he was 39.

There are stories of child leaders throughout history – most often, if no always associated with people who became leaders because of a family line.

If you want real child leaders you have to look at TV and movies.
  • There’s the kid, Kevin, from “Home Alone.” He single-handedly foiled the attempt of burglars in the house.
  • How about Tommy Pickles – the leader of the Rugrats?
  • Jimmy Neutron – the genius who often saves the world – from space aliens or from his inventions gone awry?
I’m sure we could find plenty of child leaders from movies and television over the years. We may have laughed with them, but we usually think that in the “real world,” children don’t rise up as leaders of everyone.

And this week’s reading for the second week of Advent from Isaiah 11:1-10 turns one of our ideas around, once again.

There’s some familiar images from our reading a few weeks ago from Isaiah 65 about animals that don’t spend lots of time together becoming buddies – and this time another idea comes up: “a little child shall lead them.”
  • Hope coming from destruction
  • Unlikely allies
  • A little child leading them.
Can we look forward and prepare to celebrate with hope or will we continue to laugh at what seems absurd?

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