There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain.
Every Advent we hear the words of Isaiah proclaiming the coming of the Messiah and the reign of peace that will accompany his coming. And each year we look around our world to see more ruin, more bloodshed, more devastation. Has the Messiah not come? Has God been unfaithful to his promise? Why do these horrors continue?
Yes, the Messiah has come, and yes God is indeed faithful. But these horrors continue because we look upon God as a cosmic vending machine. In our minds we think that God will automatically grant this peace. We merely insert the coins of our prayer and remembrance of God’s promise and, we think, God will grant the peace.
But the Messiah came to show us how to live in such a way that peace is a reality in our own lives and in our communal lives. He came not with magic wands but with teaching and example so that the reality of peace promised long ago might be made real in our lives in every age right up to the final coming of the reign of God.