First Monday of Advent – 12.4 | Isaiah 2:1-5 


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

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.

    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.

He shall judge between the nations,

    and shall arbitrate for many peoples;

they shall beat their swords into plowshares,

    and their spears into pruning hooks;

nation shall not lift up sword against nation,

    neither shall they learn war any more. 

O house of Jacob,

    come, let us walk

    in the light of the Lord!



For many of us, a world without war is unimaginable. We mourn thousands of people dead in Palestine, and lament as Israeli families mourn their loved ones killed in attacks and taken hostage.  Russia’s invasion of Ukraine grinds on every day, even when it falls off our news feeds.  

As we consider our inner world, we experience violence in our thoughts as we seethingly hold a grudge against someone who snubbed us. In our workplaces and even in our close relationships, we compete for attention, admiration and resources in a way that drives a wedge between us and others. 

As we consider the Prophet Isaiah’s vision of a flourishing future, the image of all nations streaming to “the mountain of the Lord’s house” seems like mere fantasy. Swords becoming plowshares and spears becoming pruning hooks… instruments of war becoming tools to harvest food for a feast seems a dream.  A world without violence seems too big, wildly impossible and hopelessly unachievable. 

And yet, we long for this reality. We dream of a world where we don’t hear of collateral damage of innocent people killed in war.  We yearn for a world without mass shootings.  

In our relationships, we long for a world where we won’t argue or fight with the people closest to us.


The Advent message of hope is that although violence is real and pervasive, it will not have the final word.  Jesus, the Prince of Peace, has come into this world and one day will return to make all things new.  Every tear will be wiped from every eye, every injustice will be made right, and death will be no more.

This is not an invitation to “just try harder,” which leads to exhaustion, or “minimize the damage,” which leads to withdrawal.   

Rather, it’s an invitation to see our stories in the context of the much grander story:  


God sees you.  

God knows the pain and sorrow that is visited upon us and that we inflict on others.  

And in the light of Christmas, God has entered into this beautiful and broken world to renew all of it.


And so we wait… with our longings… and with hope. 

We’re invited to join in as the hands and feet of Christ in this cosmic mission of renewal.


  • What are you mourning or lamenting in this season?


  • What might Isaiah’s vision of wholeness and healing look like in these areas? 


  • Take a moment to bring your lament before God, and ask for God to renew your hope.