December 1, 2019
Scripture: Isaiah 2:3
Many nations will go and say, “Come, let’s go up to the LORD’s mountain, to the house of Jacob’s God so that he may teach us his ways and we may walk in God’s paths.” Instruction will come from Zion; the LORD’s word from Jerusalem.
Thought for the Day: A message was coming to the world according to Isaiah. It was not necessarily coming through those the people might expect. Yes, it was Zion (Jerusalem), the geographic center of the Jewish faith. But many nations were coming to hear the instructions, to learn the ways of God for the purpose of walking the path of God. As you think about the story of Christ’s birth, it might begin in a similar way – with central figures from the Jewish faith, but it almost immediately spreads beyond the original community. Many will say, “Let us go, not to the Mountain of the Lord, but to Bethlehem.” Shepherds who were probably a plethora of nationalities, followed by Magi from the East, went to this place of revelation. In the birth of Jesus was a retelling of the ancient Isaiah announcement. As we begin this Advent Season, let us place no restrictions on those who might be making their way. They won’t look like us, speak like us, think like us or even follow the same cultural rules we accept, but the gracious invitation has gone forth. In the faces and languages and rich diversity of those who appear, let us see the message itself being embodied. When Isaiah suggested that “Many nations” would come, there would have been a great deal of discomfort. Yet why should we think the ever-expanding message would suddenly be reversed in the birth of Jesus. It was not! In fact, this message is always going places that the current generation isn’t ready for it to go. That’s what the relentless and reckless love of God looks like.
Prayer: I am ready for all the traditions of this season, O Lord, but am I ready where the story is really trying to take me? I pray for peace as an ancient message comes alive for this moment, challenging us in the same way it challenged every generation. Amen.
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