Here is the message which God gave to Isaiah son of Amoz about Judah and Jerusalem:
In days to come
the mountain where the Temple stands
will be the highest one of all,
towering above all the hills.
Many nations will come streaming to it,
and their people will say,
“Let us go up the hill of the LORD,
to the Temple of Israel’s God.
He will teach us what he wants us to do;
we will walk in the paths he has chosen.
For the LORD’s teaching comes from Jerusalem;
from Zion he speaks to his people.”
He will settle disputes among great nations.
They will hammer their swords into ploughs
and their spears into pruning knives.
Nations will never again go to war,
never prepare for battle again.
Now, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light which the LORD gives us!
What a statement of commitment and choice! Let us walk in the light which the Lord gives us! God offers us a way forward together, with a path to follow so that we can live as a flourishing and nurturing community. It is up to us to choose to take the path.
Swords and spears are tools of opposition and attack, to respond to inner fear and hate, focused on anger and violence. They are designed specifically to leave negative and violent space between two people, to break communication, and to harm and do damage. ‘Swords and spears’ can be found in many forms of broken or damaging communication, greed or patterns of living. Their destructive and cruel affect causes insult and injury, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
God’s hope-filled landscape creates safe spaces where we work alongside each other, nurturing cooperation and sustainable nourishment for all aspects of life – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. God will teach us the Way of being and doing, and direct a clear path along which to travel.
In God’s community, ‘ploughs’ draw through what has been, breaking apart uncompromising and set patterns, to reveal a fertile terrain as a foundation for nurturing new life into being. ‘Pruning knives’ help reap the rewards of this togetherness, a flourishing and continuing reality of future community. It does require commitment to the longer-term vision of community, and is predicated on doing it together.
A completely different way to live, to be, in which commune, dream and vision together. That is a pretty great pathway to tread, with a bounty that offers generational change and hope, far beyond the first flourish of renewing life.
Let’s choose to walk in the light which the LORD gives us!
Friends and neighbours,
let us gather as one!
Drawn to God’s illuminating Light!
This Light draws us
away from our fears and anxieties,
dissolving hates and distrust,
and thawing unproductive relationships
and destructive patterns of living.
This Light does not block out reality,
nor blind, distort or intimidate.
This light gently draws us to its clarifying brightness,
identifying what previously seemed so complex and difficult
and illuminating what life can be when we live in its presence.
God’s Light offers a new Way of being,
drawing us beyond our previous understanding of living;
so that tender love encourages planting what is new,
gentle care nourishes our growing spirits
and hope revitalises us into a completely different perception of life.
Now, let us then, walk in the Light which the Lord gives us!
May it be so! Amen
© Rev Anne Hewitt 23/11/2022
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