Today's Lectionary Text
This is what Isaiah, Amoz’s son, saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
In the days to come
Come, house of Jacob,
It’s a lovely dream isn’t it? A time when the nations will stream to the mountain of the Lord seeking knowledge of God’s ways. The day when weapons really will be turned into plows and implements of peace. It seems such a mystical dream in the wake of all the violence around us. In recent weeks we’ve seen a steady news diet of mass shootings scattered across the United States; hate-filled rhetoric against children of God who do not look like “us” or worship as we do; and saber rattling over oil tankers. We live in a world where too many people cannot (or will not) see beyond their own desires and too few people (especially those in power throughout the world) care to seek knowledge of God’s ways.
The prophet we know as “First” Isaiah came on the scene at a time when those with much wealth had become greedy, the needs of the poor went unnoticed, and the covenant between God and God’s people was repeatedly broken by the people. No one was seeking to understand God’s ways. Sound familiar?
But even before we are properly introduced to Isaiah (in Chapter 6), the prophet offers hope. There will come a time when things will be different – when all the nations will want to know how to walk God’s paths and peace will come. For thousands of years, faithful people have clung to this hope. We’ve held on through countless dark times of war and pestilence, fear and pain. Yet our hope is renewed each time we remember that God sent Jesus to live and die among us and be raised from death in the ultimate hope. So, while we can look at the prophecy as simply a lovely, mystical dream, we are better served to take courage, seek for ourselves a knowledge of God’s ways, act as those who trust in the promise, and live in hope for the peace to come.
--Rev. Robbie Fall, retired elder
*Devotion originally posted 8/12/2019
Prayer for Reflection
God of Peace and Love, help me to seek your ways and follow your path. And along the way, most loving God, help me to see and act against the things of this world that keep us from turning the implements of war and destruction into implements of peace.
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