Thursday, December 20, 2007

Swords into plowshares

If you look at this passage and really ponder it, you will see the deep longing of humanity for peace. Sometimes I find myself weeping at the words, "swords into plowshares":
Isaiah 2:1–5

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!
Now take a look at something The Rev. Canon Carol L. Wade of the National Cathedral has to say:
Advent takes us on a journey where darkness unfurls into light. It offers the opportunity to discover God’s light and God’s work in our lives and encourages us to bring that to others. Isaiah says that we are to study. Even in Christ’s school of prayer, studying comes with homework. So this is your assignment. Prayerfully read Isaiah 2:1-5 each day this week. You will be hard pressed to find a more magnificent work of poetry and compelling vision of peace. And watch; keep alert to how our angers, hostilities and petty meannesses are bent into God’s peace.
The school of prayer has homework! How true. How can I expect nation not to lift sword against nation if I cannot tame my own tendency toward "angers, hostilities and petty meannesses"? This is good homework, this self-examination.

Let us cultivate an aspiration for peace, indeed.

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