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II. TODAY’s TEXT: Isaiah 2: 1-5 (NRSV)
The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. In the 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 our 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!
In this first section of the book of Isaiah (chapters 1-6), the prophet, Isaiah son of Amoz, recounts a vision he has of the future of Israel. The vision includes God’s dreams for the people of Israel and for the world. It is a vision of harmony, justice, inclusion and peace, centered on the temple of God. In Isaiah’s vision, the temple of God is a place in which all people, from all nations, are drawn together. In this created community, peace is found.
This text in Advent: Advent themes of hope, peace, joy and love are all represented in this text. The promise of a harmonious future in which people from different ethnic backgrounds, religious traditions, and families can worship together in shared space is certainly a not-yet-realized hope. As we anticipate the birth of Jesus, how might we let the hope, peace, joy, and love of Advent, those characteristics that Jesus shows us with his life and ministry, become a reality in our world? How can we participate in the oncoming of Advent hope, peace, joy and love this season?
Remember, these are only suggestions. The most effective questions and activities— the ones that help participants connect their story with God’s story each week—are
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