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The First Sunday in Advent A – November 27, 2022

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The First Sunday in Advent A – November 27, 2022

Take note of how verse one depicts Isaiah’s experience: “The word that Isaiah ‘saw’ concerning Judah and Jerusalem.” Isaiah did not have a faith experience with this word. He saw its reality. Isaiah had been taken to that place… an eschatological place… where he did not have to walk by faith but, instead, could walk privileged by sight (cf. 2 Cor. 5:7). In this reality of sight, Isaiah was allowed to “see” the equivalent of the apostolic sending Jesus delivered upon his disciples (cf. Matthew 28:16-20; Mark 16:14-18; Luke 24:44-49; Acts 1:6-11; John 20:19-23). Jesus sent out those apostles to preach “…repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem” (Lk. 24:47).

As is given us in v. 3 (quoted above), Isaiah ‘saw’ the law go forth… Isaiah ‘saw’ the word go forth from Zion and Jerusalem. The Greek words used in the Septuagint to translate “law” and “word” are “nomos” and “logos.” You may already be familiar with the word “logos.” The evangelist John uses it in his gospel in reference to the Word of God, Jesus Christ (cf. Jn. 1:1-18). In those apostolic sendings, Jesus sent witnesses bearing him, the Word of God, from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth. Likewise, the “nomos” went forth from Zion, a synonym for Jerusalem. “Nomos” is commonly used to translate the Hebrew word “Torah” and “Torah” has a very broad range of meaning. It can be taken specifically to refer to the laws of Moses, the first five books of the Hebrew bible, or even the entire content of teaching whether from the Hebrew bible or rabbinical tradition. All these meanings can be handily summed up by the phrase: “the life-giving Word of God.”

You and I have not been granted the gift of sight as Isaiah was in his vision. We must still walk by faith. The Word of God—that life-giving Word of God—has gone forth from Zion and Jerusalem. Preachers bearing witness to Jesus Christ as they preach repentance and the forgiveness of sins have come down to us generation after generation so that we enjoy the peace of God and “walk in the light of the Lord” (vs. 5).

Table Talk: Discuss “walking by faith” vs. “walking by sight.”
Pray: Heavenly Father, as I hear your life-giving Word, Jesus Christ, grant your Holy Spirit to work faith within me. Amen

Isaiah 2:1-5 English Standard Version

The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

2 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,
3 and 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 the law,
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
4 He shall judge between the nations,
and shall decide disputes for many peoples;
and 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 anymore.

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