Isaiah 2 – The Mountain of the Lord
This is what Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:
2 In the last days
the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established
as the highest of the mountains;
it will be exalted above the hills,
and all nations will stream to it.
3 Many peoples will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the temple of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us his ways,
so that we may walk in his paths.”
The law will go out from Zion,
the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
4 He will judge between the nations
and will settle disputes for many peoples.
They will beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation,
nor will they train for war anymore.
5 Come, descendants of Jacob,
let us walk in the light of the Lord.
Isaiah 11 – The Branch From Jesse
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
2 The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—
3 and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
or decide by what he hears with his ears;
4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
5 Righteousness will be his belt
and faithfulness the sash around his waist.
6 The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
and a little child will lead them.
7 The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
8 The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
9 They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
10 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious.
When I was in Guyana, South America talking with people while they waited in line for a free medical clinic at the church, I asked everyone the same question, “What would you change about the world to make it perfect?” Answers ranged across the spectrum: I’m tired of being sick. I’d get rid of cancer. Can we end poverty? No more hate. No more racism. I’d end all the wars. I’d take away death.
None of these things existed in the Garden of Eden. The Garden was how God intended the world to be but sin brought brokenness, not only humanity’s relationship with God, but also brokenness to the creation itself (Romans 8:22). God has not given up on what He started in this creation. He wants to restore it. He wants to make it new again. He wants to be present to His creation again as He was in the Garden.
The prophetic imagination of Isaiah envisions a new world where there is no longer a need for swords or spears (1:4) and where predator and prey will live in harmony together. This prophetic imagination is looking forward to the coming of Christ, the Son of David, who will put the world back to right again under His reign.
This is what we celebrate in Easter, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ! This week, as we prepare of Easter, prepare your heart, mind, and soul, for the resurrected life we’re called to live. We have not received the Resurrection fully but we live our God’s Resurrection reality while we wait for it patiently. God’s mission for you and for His Church is to live with Resurrection Imagination. We imagine how the world will be in the Resurrection and begin working towards that reality. What does it mean to bring peace to the chaos you see around you? To bring reconciliation to the divides this broken world sets in place? What does it look like to create communities of peace where people recognize the Kingdom of God? This is the mission God has for His Church. We celebrate it in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. We participate in it in the receiving of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. We live it out in community that looks and acts differently from the chaotic world around us.