Advent 1 – A Vision of Shalom (Peace)

"Let Us Beat Our Swords into Ploughshares," Evgeny Vuchetich, 1959
“Let Us Beat Our Swords into Ploughshares,” Evgeny Vuchetich, 1959

In this first week of Advent – the season of preparation for Christ’s coming – we turn  to an early oracle of the prophet Isaiah in which recounts a vision of God’s coming salvation and the blessings of peace:

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.

— Isaiah 2:3b-4 (NRSV)

The vision is one of a God who makes himself approachable to all, and who’s grace is so evident to all that the farthest nations make pilgrimage to his presence. There at his Temple humanity finds true justice, and thus volunteers to turn their instruments of war into the tools of prosperity and harvest.

We who have received this divinely-granted wisdom are called not only to be soothed by it, but to exhibit it in and through our lives. While the kingdom has not yet come in its fullness, we who know how these promises will be fulfilled are to be the embodiment of God’s shalom as we walk the path of Jesus.


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