Thursday, December 16, 2021

Advent readings 2021 : Day 19


In which the exiles embody peace between nations


Genesis 7:13-16

That very day, Noah and Shem and Ham and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons together with them, came into the ark, they as well as beasts of each kind and cattle of each kind and each kind of crawling thing that crawls on the earth and each kind of bird, each winged thing. They came to Noah into the ark, two by two of all flesh that has the breath of life within it. And those that came in, male and female of all flesh they came, as God had commanded him, and the LORD shut him in.


Isaiah 2:1-5

The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw in a vision concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

And it shall happen in future days that the mount of the LORD’s house shall be firm-founded at the top of the mountains and lifted over the hills. And all the nations shall flow to it and many peoples shall go, and say: Come, let us go up to the mount of the LORD, to the house of Jacob’s God, that He may teach us of His ways and that we may walk in His paths. For from Zion shall teaching come forth and the LORD’s word from Jerusalem. And He shall judge among the nations and be arbiter for many peoples. And they shall grind their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not raise sword against nation nor shall they learn war anymore. O house of Jacob, let us walk in the LORD’s light.


The Temple is to be rebuilt in the context of a Flood that will cover the face of the earth, that will sweep away empires, one after another, within the great cradle of civilisations bounded by the Zagros Mountains to the east, the Taurus Mountains to the north, and the Hejaz Mountains to the southwest. The turbulent rise and fall of the family of nations. Above all this welter and waste is the Temple in Jerusalem, symbol of hope, resting under God’s protection, a firm-founded place given for the nations where all who will come will receive instruction in peace-making.

Let us pray for the Church, called out from every people-group, sent out to every nation, that we may embrace and model the ways that make for peace, in partnership with people of peace of all faiths and none.


Biblical texts: Robert Alter, The Hebrew Bible: A Translation with Commentary


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