Micah 4:1-5

Key Verse:

He shall judge between many peoples,
    and shall decide disputes for strong nations far away;
and 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 anymore;

Reflection:

Clearly, we have far to go. As we live in the in-between time of “already and not yet,” war is still an ever present reality.

Yet there is an element of “already.” We can be thankful and celebrate the incremental kingdom work that has already been done. We live in a land where a modicum of kingdom mandate work has already been hard fought and won. We live in a country where the law carries weight, and we are hopefully moving toward justice and away from oppression, racism, and misogyny. “Thy kingdom come” still has a long way to go, but Jesus’ teaching to love one’s neighbor certainly shows its mark in Chattanooga and in America. I am thankful to be an American, to live where the gospel has been at work for four hundred years.

Martin Luther said that we need to preach the gospel to ourselves every day, and similarly, we need to recommit daily (and yearly) to building the kingdom here in Chattanooga. We can “beat our swords into plowshares” by being a peacemaker in our marriages, with our siblings, parents and children. “Learning war no more” is something to aspire to when dealing with troublesome bosses and co-workers.

This Christmas baby came to free us from the old way…. winning, striving, warring, fighting. He came to die on a cross, and He bids us to daily take up our cross. Put down the sword. Lay aside the spear. You shall learn war No More.

Garth McPherson

Prayer:

Lord, help me to let go of striving and hoarding and winning. Help me embrace the babe in the manger and the thorny cross. Spirit, give me joy. Help me take up my cross and help me to understand the pains and losses of 2016 and to bravely face 2017. Father, bring revival to Chattanooga and put injustice and meanness to flight. “Let there be peace on Earth…. and let it begin with me”. Amen.

It shall come to pass in the latter days
    that the mountain of the house of the Lord
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
    and it shall be lifted up above the hills;
and peoples shall flow to it,
    and many nations 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 the law,
    and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between many peoples,
    and shall decide disputes for strong nations far away;
and 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 anymore;
but they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree,
    and no one shall make them afraid,
    for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.
For all the peoples walk
    each in the name of its god,
but we will walk in the name of the Lord our God
    forever and ever.

CategoryAdvent 2016