Reflection for Today ▶️ ⏹️

Illustration for 'How to Defeat Religious Violence', Wall Street Journal Review, October 2015, by Brian Stauffer

And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it / And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
Isaiah 2:2,4

In defiance of yesterdays statement that Old Testament prophets predicted only by inevitability,1 Isaiah did indeed make a priori, and often grand predictions of the future. Here we read Isaiah's beautiful vision for the future of the world. The phrase the last days here probably refers to the last days of war, rather than the end of the world, which wouldn't make sense in the context. This vision of a peaceful, nurturing world has yet to come, and indeed it seems we are slipping further and further away as we head down a road of fear, animosity, violence, and unsustainable agricultural practices.

And still, we can take this prediction to heart on a personal level and strive to live this vision in our own lives. Are we crafting weapons of war with our words, thoughts, actions, or tools of peace? Are we inviting all nations into our lives, all people regardless of their differences to ourselves, or are we continuing to practice 'othering'? Isaiah's utopia can come about now, immediately, in each small moment of our lives. It just takes knowing it, and taking small steps towards it.

1 Compare with yesterday's post, Canary