“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.
Even before the ancient times of the prophet Isaiah, peace has been proclaimed as what God wants for His people. I am especially aware of this message during Advent. “He shall be called ‘Prince of Peace’.” The angels sang to the hillside of shepherds, “Peace on Earth, good will to men.” A verse of our favorite Christmas carol ends, “Sleep in heavenly peace.”
I love Isaiah’s image of swords and spears beaten into plows and pruning hooks. What a miracle it will be when nations train for war no more and use their resources instead to provide food for the hungry and shelter for the homeless, good medical care for the sick, an excellent education for the children and a future of hope and peace for all.
Almighty and Merciful God, let this holy season begin a reign of peace in our hearts, our lives, and your world. In the name of the One who was and is the Prince of Peace forever, Amen.