Advent Pilgrimage Week 1

This year I am sharing some Advent Reflections online. The theme is Pilgrimage. I have to confess that I wrote this a few years ago, and have no idea what the inspiration I used was, my apologies if I have inadvertently plagiarised anyone else’s work, but the setting is definitely mine.

Pilgrimage to Jerusalem

Isaiah 2: 1-5

The Future House of God

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


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.
   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.
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.

Judgement Pronounced on Arrogance


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

This is the spoken recording

Or if you prefer the written version:

Going to a place where we can be close to God.

Before Jesus were born, the Jewish people had been waiting for a very long time – years and years and years – for God to send a special leader who would set them free from being ruled by other nations.

They waited and waited – and then God did something – he sent an angel to give Mary some good news.  We do not know what God will do – all we can do is wait.

Imagine…

We are going on a journey.  ‘Imagine you are on a special journey, and on the way you begin to meet up with people of all different places.  You notice that they are wearing different clothes than you, and some are speaking different languages.  But as you walk along, you realise that you are all walking to the same place.’

Imagine your first glimpse of this special place.  It is still a long way to go, but you can see it towering above all the other mountains.  How are you feeling?

People around you are beginning to talk to one another, saying, ‘Lets go to the mountain of the Lord God of Jacob and worship in his temple.  The Lord will teach us his law from Jerusalem, and we will obey him.’

You keep moving forward, climbing the steep hill.  It’s hard work, but before long you reach the top.  Look around.  How do you feel now you have reached this destination?

‘On this first week in Advent, as we begin our journey towards Christmas, Isaiah points to a day when all nations will come together to listen to God.  But we know that even when God sent his very own son, Jesus, into the world, still the people did not listen.  Jesus promised that one day he would come again and at that time nations would never again go to war.

In Advent we remember when Jesus first came to the earth, and we look forward to when Jesus will come again.

Isa tells us to look ahead – on a journey of hope – for God’s promises are not empty.  Waiting for the coming saviour – who will come, not just at Christmas, but one day will finally come again and bring in the era of justice and peace.

We are asked to look beyond where we are, to be people of vision, and to look out to the world around us.

Yes the world is still war-torn, distressed, broken – and greedy too.  Yet that is the world into which Jesus came.  That is the world for which we pray, and in which we must live as Christ’s disciples.  Where we must play our part in making peace.

God of hope, give us this Advent a faith that looks inwards to the deepest longings of our own hearts, upwards to the heavenly city and out to the whole world.  Hold before our eyes this vision of hope as we joyfully wait for the coming of the Saviour.  Amen

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~ by pamjw on December 1, 2022.

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