Walk in the Light

The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
 
       In days to come
        the mountain of the LORD’S house
    shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
        and shall be raised above the hills;
    all the nations shall stream to it.
        Many peoples shall come and say,
    “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
        to the house of the God of Jacob;
    that he may teach us his ways
        and that we may walk in his paths.”
    For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,
        and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
    He shall judge between the nations,
        and shall arbitrate for many peoples;
    they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
        and their spears into pruning hooks;
    nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
        neither shall they learn war any more.
 
       O house of Jacob,
        come, let us walk
        in the light of the LORD! (Isaiah 2: 1-5)

Day 1 in our Advent journey together.  What a great place to begin.  Many scholars believe this to be the original beginning of Isaiah–Chapter One is therefore a later submission–a prequel.  I think of the whole of Isaiah as three books: 1. Warnings; 2. Exile; 3. Restoration.  In our opening today, the people trusted in themselves.  God is distant.  But for God, we are held close.  God is judge is righteous.  My favorite definition for righteousness in most of Scripture is ‘restorative justice.’  Justice is not about casting out, or for the sake of retribution.  But our righteous God cares about relationships.  God cares about us.

God cares enough that the highest points are not our own successes, but it is our connectedness to God and one another.  God’s purpose is for all nations to follow in this path; “…all nations shall stream to it.”  God’s judgment shall arbitrate for many.

What is restorative justice, and this high place?  It is a place where we beat our swords into plowshares.  It is a place of hope.  A place where instead of stand-your-ground laws, we get our hands dirty caring for one another.  Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord.  Amen

1 reply
  1. Jeff Mortimer
    Jeff Mortimer says:

    Amen! I thought this passage was interesting for a couple of reasons, and it all centers around the “swords to plowshares/spears to pruning hooks”…

    First of all, the references to agricultural implements. Thinking about this future, where there’s no more war, will we still be plowing fields and tending plants? As someone who struggles keeping plants in & around the house alive, I find that interesting…

    Also, I’m a fan of the card game “Magic: The Gathering”, and one of the cards in that game is “Swords to Plowshares” (google “mtg swords to plowshares” to see what I mean). Even before I knew where the reference came from, I thought it was a really cool (and powerful) card. Now I know some of that comes from the source of the reference, not from the people creating the card… And I see it as an example of God’s word echoing out among secular society, and affecting all sorts of people in ways they might not even realize… But maybe that’s just me geeking out. 🙂

    Reply

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