“It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord
shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it.” Isaiah 2:1
My daughter texted me last spring a bit scandalized. She was on choir tour and the congregation where they were singing had mistakenly included a hymn with an alleluia in it though it was the season of Lent. As a parish pastor, I always wanted to make sure that we did not rush through Advent in our haste to celebrate Christmas. The theme of waiting is a ripe metaphor for Christians who endure the cross and suffering throughout our lives. But as we begin the season of Advent, it is also good for us to be reminded that we cannot avoid remember how God fulfills prophecy while reading the prophecies themselves. And that means there seasons may bleed into one another.
In Isaiah 2, the prophet tells us that the mountain of the Lord will be lifted up and the nations will be drawn to it. The fulfillment of that promise begins with the child born in Bethlehem who is taken up to the mountain of the Lord, Jerusalem, where He is given the name Jesus. The promise finds its fulfillment in Jesus, who is raised up on Calvary’s holy mountain as He draws all men unto Himself. And yet Isaiah’s words will not find their ultimate fulfillment until our Lord’s Second Advent, when the new Jerusalem is revealed, coming down out of heaven from God. Even in the midst of Advent, we see shades of Christmas, Good Friday, and Easter as we consider how God fulfills His promises of old.
Advent is a good time to remember how God reveals His plan for the Messiah through the prophets. As we remember these prophecies about the Messiah, we give thanks to God the Father for how He has fulfilled them in the person and work of His Son. But we also continue to our Advent waiting as we look forward to the Second Advent when the mountain of the Lord is lifted up and people from every race, nation, tribe and language will be drawn to Him.
Prayer – Stir up Your power, O Lord and come, that by Your protection we may be rescued through the threatening perils of our sins and saved by Your mighty deliverance; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan