Text: Isaiah 2:1-5
First Sunday in Advent, Series A
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.
At the United Nations headquarters in New York City there is a large sculpture of a blacksmith beating a sword into a plowshare. On the wall of the UN building behind the statue appears a text lifted from Isaiah 2:4. “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.” This text with the accompanying statue were a gift of the Soviet Union to the UN. On the base of the statue appear the words “we shall beat our swords into plowshares.” This represents a sort of goal or motto which the UN is working for in the World. We certainly would not doubt that the goal of organisations like the United Nations is very lofty and just. It is good for us to strive and work for peace among the nations. We all wait to avoid another world war.
But, we all live with a certain level of discontent when we look at the world. Idealism gives way to the harsh realities of life. We long for and desire “peace on earth, good-will to men” but despite our best efforts, that kind of peace which beats swords into plowshares, remains elusive. We have a hard enough time trying to keep the peace within our families, let alone among nations! People are not peaceful, they are fighters. People do not love their enemies, they want to get even. So, this text may appear to some as being the stuff of dreams. Some see this text as an idealistic fantasy — something for humanity to strive towards. But, Isaiah promises a peace which isn’t only idealistic, but a reality already making itself known in the world. Continue reading “Sermon: Advent With Isaiah—The Promise of Peace”