Daily Readings: Isaiah 2:1-5; Psalm 122; Romans 13:11-14; Matthew 24: 36-44
In the days to come the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest of mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; all 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 judged between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.
O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord!
Isaiah 2:1-5, NRSV
The Lord’s house may crown the highest mountain in holy light, but the hills that surround it are real – lesser realities and smaller aspirations that diminish and darken human existence. That just may be the point. Isaiah’s vision of peace among peoples isn’t a dream of perfection standing alone: it’s reached by people walking toward God’s house from the imperfect, hilly places in which all of humanity lives.
Darkness and light suffuse the path we walk. Our feet take us through shadowy hills on the way to the high place where all we see before us is God’s light. We won’t get there unless we leave the hills behind, walking in trust when the shadows darken our way and rejoicing in every glimpse of light that draws us on.
Take heart; we don’t walk alone along an unknown path. We are walking home together, beloved children of God, on the road Isaiah and so many others walked long ago.
Guide my feet, O God, on the long road home to Bethlehem. Amen.
[Rowhouse, by Colin Fredrickson]