In the season of Advent, we are remembering the birth of the Christ child and we are looking forward to the Second Coming, with the realization of a world like the one described by Isaiah. We are looking back, looking around, and looking forward.
Questions to consider as you read the text:
v1, What new thing have you seen--something that was totally unexpected?
Can you hope for something without working for it?
v2, What parallels do you see between the highest mountain and our places of worship?
v3, Why do we go to church?
v4, How important is the prophecy of peace for us? Do we think we are judged on basis of whether we are will to go to war?
v5, What does the phrase "walk in the light of the Lord" mean to you?
Is this passage from Isaiah about them and then, us now, or us someday?
In his article, "Preaching the Advent Texts: Hope, Peace, Courage," in the Journal for Preachers, Advent 2010, John Buchanan writes:
We know how the story of human history ends--with God's creation healed, whole, and all of God's people, at last, living together in justice and compassion and peace. Advent hope lives in the midst of darkness in every age. It will not be defeated, silenced, or extinguished. The light that is coming into the world shines in the darkness, after all, and the darkness has not and will not overcome it.