Thinking upside-down

(A reflection on the pray-as-you-go podcast for 12/4/2006, based on Isaiah 2:1-5.)

It's hard to imagine today the nations of the world, even many people in our so-called "Christian" culture, spontaneously surrendering our ways to the Lord's. Yet that is what Isaiah sees: a time when all peoples will seek to learn the Lord's ways not because they are our ways but better, but because they are so radically different, so upside-down from our conventional ways of thinking, that they actually offer transformation and hope.

Isaiah's vision is one of peace, unity and justice. He prophesies a time when nations will not take up arms and beat swords into plowshares -- not just a call to give up war but to give up the seeking of one's own advantage, of bringing others under power military or economic or political, that is at the root of much of the manipulation and dispute in our world.

What would this look like in our time? Each of us would have our own vision. Mine would include people coming together to ponder the Lord's ways, to question our own ways, and to learn to walk together in the light of the Lord. Whatever they look like, realizing Isaiah's prophecy starts with recognizing the gospel not as a tonic for the anxiety and dis-ease in our way of life but as a radically different way of life that God offers to share with us.

What's your vision?

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