Daily Worship

Looking out at the absurd

Linda Pollock February 02, 2024 3 2
Image credit: Unsplash
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Isaiah 2: 4-5 (NRSVA)

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.

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

In our reading peace and prosperity are no longer the norm in Israel because, in the early 8th century B.C.E., Assyria has taken captive many of the people, others have managed to escape to Jerusalem, the capital city of Judah, the southern kingdom. However, the stability of Judah is to be compromised soon, as Assyria continues south in its quest for domination.

It is into this context of abject fear, suffering and uncertainty, that Isaiah proclaims God’s word for Jerusalem and Judah… a word that seems quite absurd!

“C’mon, can you see any army beating their swords of destruction into ploughs that create space for new life?”

“Can you see spears that felled hundreds, being fashioned into pruning hooks, designed to trim, and pare plants so that they might grow stronger, bigger?”

“Can you honestly imagine our world without war?”

There is war in so many places in the world that, were our lives to depend upon our ability to recite those places, we would certainly die.

Let’s not be discouraged! Let’s use our imaginations to look out at the way of Christ Jesus Who, by His Spirit, will enable us to be the change in the world He and we long for!

I challenge you today to make a list of absurd images in His Name.

For example, can you imagine food banks being unnecessary? Can you imagine peace in Gaza, Ukraine? Can you imagine African countries being supported to explore their natural resources without foreign governments wanting their investment returned with interest? Can you imagine global warming being confined to history? Can you imagine asylum seekers being welcomed with open arms and policies in place to support these dear ones? Can you imagine our children released from slavery to their mobile phones and social media?

The list of absurd images is as long as you want to make it!

Our God has not changed, He continues to invite us to be His co-workers, turning swords into ploughshares and spears into pruning hooks. Dare you look out at the possibilities of the Kingdom? Are you willing to play your part in the forge of transformation? Time will tell, it always does.




Eternal God, thank You for being the same today as You were in the time of Isaiah. Give us courage to imagine absurd images and the desire to make these images real. For Your sake and in the Name of Christ Jesus we pray. Amen.