Monday, November 22, 2010

Advent 1a - Isaiah 2:1-5

“Gonna lay down my sword and shield, down by the riverside, gonna study war no more.” Down by the Riverside predates the War Between the States and sings the desire of all who have on the job training in the study of war. We are a warring species, sometimes for necessary and just causes, sometimes in self defense, sometimes to protect economic self interest, sometimes for ideology and sometimes, God help us, just because. But I cannot believe that given the opportunity by means of a just peace, or a trustworthy security, or some other mechanism to make war obsolete anyone would not willingly, joyfully, lay down sword and shield. That day has eluded the human race even though some have tried their best to live “All we are saying is give peace a chance.” It is because the only peace that has a chance is the promised peace of God’s path. Whenever we walk in the light of the Lord we give peace a chance to happen in our lives and the lives of those around us in anticipation of the final peace treaty of the forever future where swords and spears beaten into plowshares and pruning hooks will signal the end of the nations warring madness once and for all. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.


  1. Amen, Phil. The only peace is God's peace that comes via his grace through Christ who brings it to us. We humans can not experience it without Christ beside us.

  2. "Be still and know that I am God." That's where the peace begins. You don't have to be at war or even in a life or death struggle to realize that sometimes, maybe most times, it's the being still part that's the hardest. Because it's not just a physical stillness, it's a mental and emotional stillness that's required. How many of us have lain in bed at night physically and mentally exhausted but couldn't turn off the thoughts bombarding us? As much as I crave God's peace, it's hard for me to let go of all the stuff of my busy life so I can draw close to him and be in his presence. Christ said the peace he gives is unlike anything the world can give us. Do I want that peace enough to lay down the swords of my busy life and beat the sharp spears my noisy thoughts into stillness so that my heart and soul can be fertile ground for his peace? Good and gracious God, in those rare moments when I am still enough to bring myself fully into your presence, sow your seeds of peace and grace deep inside me where they will grow and sustain me in the business of my life, reminding me that your harvest knows no season and your love no boundaries. Amen.

  3. When I remember those who find time in very challenging lives to "share the peace" with me in reciprocal prayer, and of course many I don't know who pray for us all, it relieves me of a false sense of isolation and gives me a taste of our real peace, hid with Christ in God, where "eye hath not seen".