Daily Devotion 20 April 2020

Create a peaceful space to pause, and allow yourself to feel God’s presence alongside you, as near to you as your own breath. In following the reflection below, as a church we will draw closer to God and to one another as we grow in faith and deepen our sense of belonging to God.

Isaiah 2:1-4 ‘The Future House of God’

1 The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem: 2 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. 3 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. 4 He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

Just above Chalk Farm, on Cooper’s Hill, this path rises from the bottom of the valley and steeply winds its way up to Butts Brow. It’s a beautiful route, a fabulous path to follow, and worth all the huffing, puffing and heart-racing-panting to get the top – especially on a sunny, bright, clear day with gorgeous views all around. It’s also a narrow path, quite rocky, uneven, and boy, is it steep! (The shape of the hill can be clearly seen in this picture – the horizon’s level shown in the background).

Early on in the Book of Isaiah, the prophet expresses God’s word for the people of Israel. It’s a famous passage, often read on Remembrance Sunday. I like it for the hope of God’s future house: a place of peace, healing, completeness, and rest in God’s love alone. The imagery of hill, mountain, path and house are all very evocative. It strikes me that you and I get glimpses of this future, this house, this Kingdom of God here and now in this life. How is this possible? Because God our loving Creator desires for all his creation to be at one with him: at one in love, and peace, and joy; to live in harmony with the world we have been given, and in harmony with one another. The words of prophets, the history of God’s people, the life, death, and rising of Jesus Christ all speak of this Kingdom. May we walk in God’s paths in this life, whether they are smooth and easy, or indeed, when they are a challenge and take some endurance to follow.

Prayer:
Creator God, we thank you for the beauty of your creation, and for moments of joy and peace wherever they are to be found. May we be a people alive to your presence, and ready to follow you where you lead us. May our lives here and now resemble the qualities of your heavenly Kingdom. Amen.

Image, Reflection and Prayer, all © 2020 Paul Tabraham.
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