Throughout the whole book of Isaiah, there is a constant theme: God wishes to draw all people to Himself. It is the prophet(s)’s wish that all people be gathered together in worship and in praise:
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 ploughshares,
and their spears into pruning-hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more. (Isa. 2:2-4)
There is a looking ahead to a time when peace and justice will indeed take hold, and all of humanity–Jew and Gentile alike–will be gathered on the Temple mount.
We have this promise from God….but the real question is: What do we do in the meantime? Do we just sit around and wait for Her to do her thing???? I don’t think so.
In the Gospel of Luke Jesus tells us that the Kingdom of God is already here amongst us and within us. We are indeed to walk in the light of the LORD day by day. Psalm 119 gives us a hint of how to do that successfully:
Happy are those whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the Lord.
Happy are those who keep his decrees,
who seek him with their whole heart,
who also do no wrong,
but walk in his ways.
You have commanded your precepts
to be kept diligently.
O that my ways may be steadfast
in keeping your statutes!
Then I shall not be put to shame,
having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.
I will praise you with an upright heart (Psalm 119: 1-4)
As Christians, we of course believe that the power of Grace trumps any value of the law. None of us can be totally blameless in the sight of the LORD….but that doesn’t mean that we should give up trying!
The Law was meant not to be a constraint and burden to the Jewish people, but rather it was to serve as
A lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Ps. 119:105)
In studying God’s Word, Law and Gospel…..we are given a pretty clear picture of what God desires: Mercy, equity, love, forgiveness and a commitment to living a holy life.
As we progress through this Advent, may we take some time to read, mark, and inwardly digest these Daily Office Scriptures and ask ourselves: How is this passage asking me to change my behaviour so that we are one step closer to worshipping together on God’s holy hill? +