Vipers: The Gospel of Isaiah (2)

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Christ Church, Mountain Top, Advent 2
from Psalm 72
Matthew 3.1-12
Isaiah 11.1-10
from Romans 15.5-13
Vientiane viper
of Isaiah and overlap with Matthew’s gospel:
      Brood of vipers – the religious class!
            Who told you to flee the coming
wrath? Bear fruit of repentance
            Not harm or destroy on my holy
            Earth full of the knowledge of the
LORD (not just the religious)
      Axe at the root of the trees, cut down
thrown into the fire
            Bear fruit worthy of repentance
            Even the tree itself is not
necessary to be Abe’s kids
                  Stones will do!
songs of salvation matched with judgment, presuppose destruction
Look, the Sovereign, the LORD of hosts, will
lop the boughs with terrifying power; the tallest trees will be cut down, and
the lofty will be brought low.  He will
hack down the thickets of the forest with an ax, and Lebanon with its majestic trees
will fall (Isaiah 10.33-34)
      Isaiah: From the stump or root a new shoot
      Repent – for the kingdom of heaven has
come near
            A shoot from the stump/root of Jesse
… new royal figure
of utter destruction, God does a new thing
      Disaster relief story (Shares of Ministry)
thing is not just new but impossible
      Scutt’s cat lying with the fox
      Spooky playing with the baby rabbit
      Bamboo viper
      What is natural?  To devour
we the vipers? (John the Baptizer)
      Kicking the soccer ball into my opponent
poem is about deep, radical, limitless transformation in which we – like lion,
wolf, and leopard – will have no hunger for injury, no need to devour, no
yearning for brutal control, no passion for domination” (Brueggemann, 103).
– and invite God to do the impossible

Brueggemann.  1998.  Isaiah 1-39.  Louisville,
: Westminster/John Knox Press.