May We Walk In the Light of the Lord

by Pastor Brian Johnson

Then they will beat their swords into plows
  and their spears into pruning tools. 

Nation will not take up sword against nation; 
they will no longer learn how to make war. 

Come, house of Jacob, 
let’s walk by the Lord’s light.

Isaiah 2:4b-5

On Sunday, in worship, we read this passage from the prophet Isaiah.  These words speak of a future in which God will put an end to violence – weapons of war will be transformed into farming implements, violence will be eliminated, and all people will walk in “the light of the Lord” – the light of God’s love, peace, mercy, justice, and hope. 

On the one hand, this future seems impossible – and, if we’re honest, a little bit naïve.  Is such a world – a world of peace, a world in which the inequalities and injustices of this world are overcome – something that can really happen?  Or is it only idealistic nonsense? 

As we enter into the season of Advent, we read these words in order to be reminded that not only is this future possible, but it is God’s promise to us.  God’s story has a destination.  And that destination is one in which all things are put right, and God wipes every tear from every eye.  What seems impossible to us is possible for God.  In fact, the story of Christmas is that God’s victory has already been won.  In the birth of Jesus, we have witnessed the God of peace entering into our world of violence.  In the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, we have seen the forces of love triumphing over the world’s hate.  In Jesus Christ, Son of God and son of Mary, we have seen the light of the world entering into our darkness in order to overcome it. 

And, so, this passage, from Isaiah, is meant to be an invitation.  Come, people of God, let us walk in the light of the Lord!  Let us live as if Jesus Christ REALLY IS the Prince of Peace.  May we be people who choose peace over violence, love over hatred, hospitality over security, generosity over selfishness, faith over fear. May we be people who trust that, even when we get it wrong and screw up, God loves us anyway – and will never give up on us.  

We are invited – by the prophet and by God – to live as if the story of Christmas is true.  And so, as we move into this season, I hope that you will do exactly that. 

Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord.  May we trust in the Prince of Peace.  May we live the way of God’s love.  Amen.