This Sunday we enter Advent, a season of preparation for welcoming the Christ Child at Christmas. During the four Sundays of Advent and on Christmas Eve we will meditate on passages from the prophet Isaiah. This Sunday we focus on “the mountain,” an image that points to God and His revelation.
Isaiah prophesies a day when the nations will stream to Mount Zion in pilgrimage to learn from God’s word. God promises to Abraham that He will bless not only Israel but all peoples or nations (Genesis 12:3). Then in Revelation we see a beautiful picture of the promise fulfilled: every tribe, language, people and nation represented in the worship of the Lamb (7:9). Isaiah seems to imply that Israel will be provoked to jealousy when the Gentile nations come to Yahweh. Isaiah then calls his people to return to worship: O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord!
In the new covenant, we learn that Jesus grants us access to the Father, to the mountain, to God’s way and wisdom. This week we enter into the season of Advent and ponder anew what the Messiah’s coming means for our worship, our discipleship, our service and our witness.
Our weekly worship guide can be downloaded here.
This is a vision that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:
2 In the last days, the mountain of the Lord’s house
will be the highest of all—
the most important place on earth.
It will be raised above the other hills,
and people from all over the world will stream there to worship.
3 People from many nations will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of Jacob’s God.
There he will teach us his ways,
and we will walk in his paths.”
For the Lord’s teaching will go out from Zion;
his word will go out from Jerusalem.
4 The Lord will mediate between nations
and will settle international disputes.
They will hammer their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will no longer fight against nation,
nor train for war anymore.
5 Come, descendants of Jacob,
let us walk in the light of the Lord!