Monday after Gaudete, The Third Sunday in Advent
Scripture: Isaiah 2:1-5 (NKJV)
1 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. 2 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it. 3 Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall 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 rebuke many people; 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 and let us walk in the light of the Lord.
There are lots of mountains. There are mountaintop experiences which are emotional peaks. There are mountains of learning which people ascend in order to become enlightened. There are mountains of obstacles which people strive to overcome through discipline and exertion. There are false religious ideologies which appear to be mountains. Even the Law of Moses given on Mount Sinai is as unkeepable as a great mountain is unclimbable.
The Prophet Isaiah says that Christ’s New Testament Church is the mountain of the Lord’s house! What, another mountain? But wait, this mountain “shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills.” This mountain is over all of the rest.
Being a believer in the Church should move one’s emotions, but forgiveness is an objective fact, even when the emotions are quiet. In the Church there is a great knowledge of grace, but salvation is not just the acquisition of enlightened facts. With faith in Christ, nothing will be able to take us away from Him. However, Christ’s Church does not take away a Christian’s suffering and persecution. The Church is established upon the righteousness of God’s own beloved Son, and not a man-made theory. God’s Son kept the mountain of the Law, and died for our transgressions. We are built on His perfect life and substitutionary death.
In this mountain (the Church) on top of the mountains, we will be taught God’s way of salvation, and through faith in Christ we will walk in His paths.
We pray: Almighty Father, give us a new heart of peace, so that we leave behind other mountains to go up to the mountain of the Lord, and dwell in the forgiveness of Christ’s Church. Amen.