PJ Pfeuffer ’12, Temporary Pastor at Calvert Memorial Church, Etna, Pa.
1The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
2 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.
3 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.
4 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.
We normally revere seasons such as Advent and Lent with a view that we do not necessarily hold for the remainder of the Christian calendar. These moments may be considered “mountaintop moments” and why shouldn’t they be? They lead, after all, to the highest peaks in history. In a time in which we look backward in history, we must take time to look forward. The Lord becomes enthroned for all eternity—and not one thing will remain the same! “Beating swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks” reminds us that the Christ child is born into a world that was created and called good, but has been blemished by the actions and inactions of humanity. These—anger, violence, and hatred—are not the final words. Learning God’s ways—embracing the light of the Christ who bids us forgive, forgive, forgive—these are the final words.
Lord God, Allow us to cast off any turmoil—inner or outer —and to embrace the peace you offer us. Your way sounds too easy and a cynic may call it naïve, but break us of our stubbornness and our cycles and let us look forward—to love, to grace, to peace. Amen.