2019 Advent Devotional: Tues, 12/3

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Scripture: Isaiah 2:1-4

I have always deeply loved this vision from Isaiah: peoples from far and wide, of every hue, from every context, journeying together, and joining one another on the hilltop of God. As these newly gathered peoples look down upon the valleys, they see both neighbors and strangers wielding tools of life rather than weapons of war. And they find themselves in a place where, rather than learning the laws of war, they are schooled in the arts of justice, peace, and love.

Quite often this vision feels like a far-flung dream. In the midst of endless polarization, of walls built to divide—whether with mortar or ideas—imagining the earth as a place of connection through justice and love seems an impossible task. Yet the possibility of this world is being imagined every day: it is imagined by the young people of the world, who dare to dream of a future beyond environmental catastrophe; it is imagined by those in the Parents Circle-Families Forum, who dare to dream of an Israel-Palestine made of peace rather than forever in the fires of violence and death; it is imagined by countless people, around the globe whose names we will never know but who work tirelessly for justice in their communities, their countries, and their worlds. So in this season of anticipation, how might you imagine turning swords into plowshares, turning spears into pruning hooks, and learning the arts of justice, of peace, and of love?

Prayer: God of transformation and transfiguration, in this season of anticipation, may we learn to anticipate hope in the midst of heartbreak, life in the midst of destruction, and may our imaginations be filled with the possibility of peace. Amen.

~ Celene Lillie