“1 In days to come
the mountain of the LORD’s house
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and shall be raised up above the hills.
Peoples shall stream to it,
2 and many nations 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.
3 He shall judge between many peoples,
and shall arbitrate between strong nations far away;
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 any more;
4 but they shall all sit under their own vines and under their own fig trees,
and no one shall make them afraid;
for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken.
5 For all the peoples walk,
each in the name of its god,
but we will walk in the name of the LORD our God
forever and ever.” NRSV
This has always been a guiding text for my ministry. It is a powerful reminder that God didn’t come to save me. God came to save us. My salvation is wrapped up in our salvation.
When we reduce the saving activity of Jesus to only our individual selves we become nothing more than rocks in a box whose only connection to each other is the space we share, most often begrudgingly or competitively.
Communally, the organic bond we share is more like the ingredients in a loaf of bread. When joyfully given, my salt, your flour and another’s yeast, etc. is transformed into spiritual nourishment for the world.
For the rock, the transformational and communal power of love magnified and released is lost, reduced to one individual’s measly, though often sincere, efforts, but it remains one flickering little flame against the darkness.
When your flame and my flame unite, and then a host of other flames join us, we can significantly push back the darkness. When enough of us come together, as the agents of God’s love, peace, and justice in the world, the light we produce can change hearts and minds. It can put an end to war. It can conquer a virus.
But, none of us can do it alone. It takes us all working together to be the realization of God’s vision in the world.
The question is, really, whether we see our salvation as bound up in each others and whether we will unite our efforts to be “bread” for the world? Or just a bunch of rocks in a box? We either faithfully share our gifts and graces so as to nourish the world on the vision of God’s love and hope set free in the world? Or will we throw our rocks of judgment at the world…in Jesus’ name?
Don’t you go to your happy place when taking in the aroma of fresh bread baking? I know I do!
Be a blessing to someone today!