“Isaiah saw a word”.
This is not a description of reading; it might be a description of understanding.
Isaiah describes the word he sees to us in pictures. The introduction claims that the word he saw was about Jerusalem and Judah.
The word I see when I read his description is more about the mountain of God and the nations. They climb the mountain of God to be able, like Isaiah and us, to see the word of God. God’s ways, his paths: God’s Torah (in the NRSV translated as instruction). It is a word that judges and arbitrates; it is a word that brings peace. Clearly law (Torah), judgement and peace are closely interrelated. A combination we might feel uncomfortable with. Judgement is not the first thing to associate with peace except of course if it is war that is being judged. The image that Isaiah etches on our hearts is the swords that are turned into ploughshares. A judgement indeed!
I wonder: do we ever see the word of God? And if we do: what do we see? The Torah of God that teaches the nations to walk the way of war no more? And how does that look today in Mosul?
27 November 2016
This weekly blog on one of the lectionary readings is by Anna-Claar Thomasson-Rosingh, Programme Leader for Lifelong Learning at Sarum College.