The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

Neither shall they learn war any more (readings for 12/2/07)

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The church year begins anew this Sunday with Advent, the anticipation. We wait not only for the celebration of Christmas, but for the Day that slowly dawns. And that hope is part of why I am a follower of Jesus:

He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; 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.

May bits of that Kingdom be arriving through me this year.


First Sunday of Advent
December 2, 2007
Matthew 24:36-44; Romans 13:11-14; Isaiah 2:1-5; Psalm 122

Matthew 24:36-44
36″But the exact day and hour? No one knows that, not even heaven’s angels, not even the Son. Only the Father knows.

37-39″The Arrival of the Son of Man will take place in times like Noah’s. Before the great flood everyone was carrying on as usual, having a good time right up to the day Noah boarded the ark. They knew nothing—until the flood hit and swept everything away.

39-44″The Son of Man’s Arrival will be like that: Two men will be working in the field—one will be taken, one left behind; two women will be grinding at the mill—one will be taken, one left behind. So stay awake, alert. You have no idea what day your Master will show up. But you do know this: You know that if the homeowner had known what time of night the burglar would arrive, he would have been there with his dogs to prevent the break-in. Be vigilant just like that. You have no idea when the Son of Man is going to show up.

The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Romans 13:11-14
11-14But make sure that you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God. The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing! God is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work he began when we first believed. We can’t afford to waste a minute, must not squander these precious daylight hours in frivolity and indulgence, in sleeping around and dissipation, in bickering and grabbing everything in sight. Get out of bed and get dressed! Don’t loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute. Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about!

The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Isaiah 2.1-5
2.1The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

In days to come the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; all the nations shall stream to it. Many peoples shall come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; 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.

O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord!

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of
the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.

Isaiah 2:1-5
Climb God’s Mountain
1-5 The Message Isaiah got regarding Judah and Jerusalem: There’s a day coming when the mountain of God’s House
Will be The Mountain—
solid, towering over all mountains.
All nations will river toward it,
people from all over set out for it.
They’ll say, “Come,
let’s climb God’s Mountain,
go to the House of the God of Jacob.
He’ll show us the way he works
so we can live the way we’re made.”
Zion’s the source of the revelation.
God’s Message comes from Jerusalem.
He’ll settle things fairly between nations.
He’ll make things right between many peoples.
They’ll turn their swords into shovels,
their spears into hoes.
No more will nation fight nation;
they won’t play war anymore.
Come, family of Jacob,
let’s live in the light of God.

The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Psalm 122
A Pilgrim Song of David
1-2 When they said, “Let’s go to the house of God,” my heart leaped for joy.
And now we’re here, O Jerusalem,
inside Jerusalem’s walls!

3-5 Jerusalem, well-built city,
built as a place for worship!
The city to which the tribes ascend,
all God’s tribes go up to worship,
To give thanks to the name of God—
this is what it means to be Israel.
Thrones for righteous judgment
are set there, famous David-thrones.

6-9 Pray for Jerusalem’s peace!
Prosperity to all you Jerusalem-lovers!
Friendly insiders, get along!
Hostile outsiders, keep your distance!

For the sake of my family and friends,
I say it again: live in peace!
For the sake of the house of our God, God,
I’ll do my very best for you.

The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson


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Written by Monte

November 28, 2007 at 9:38 pm

One Response

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  1. Thank you very much for all these memorable Biblical quotes.

    Let me start my adding this quote although it may not be Biblical as such: “evil prevails when good people are watching …”

    I am an African and a Christian too who have been in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for a month already. It is unfortunate to say that I have not yet observed any relevance or indication of these quotations between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Beside the physical wall between them, the social and emotional wall of hatred seems to be growing wider and wider.

    It unfortunate because both are claiming that their positions are justified by God in their religions. My observation says that Israel and Palestine have lost their credentials of serving as good pioneers of any religion.

    Unless this region is demilitarised and the civil society develop friendship and relation accross nationality and religions, peace will remain an ideal. May the love of God stay with you all.

    Sejanamane Mashilo

    September 6, 2010 at 3:23 am


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