1 The 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 ploughshares,
and their spears into pruning-hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more.
5 O house of Jacob,
come, let us walk
in the light of the Lord!
A group of Christians has been taking the words of Isaiah literally in recent years. In places where gun and knife crime are maiming and destroying communities, they have been collecting guns and knives, melting them, and turning them into garden tools, inspired by Micah and Isaiah’s vision of God’s people beating their ‘swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks.
Christian waiting and looking forward is never just a passive thing. It is about allowing our hope for the future to change the world in which we live. It is about being open to the challenge of the Spirit, recognising where God is already at work so we can join in. We are not just imagining the future. We have a God who works today in our lives to make this future a reality and calls us to join in with him.
Archbishop Justin Welby and Rev Isabelle Hamley
Bible readings are taken from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.