Daily Worship

Silence, o trampling boots!

December 08, 2018 1
Image credit: Pixabay

Isaiah 9: 5

5 For all the boots of the tramping warriors
    and all the garments rolled in blood
    shall be burned as fuel for the fire.

A cosy fire is a tradition of the Christmas season that is enjoyed by many in the cold northern hemisphere. Less so in the tropical heat of other festive parts of the world.

Isaiah 9 verse 5 invites us to come to another fire. The fire where warrior boots and garments soaked in blood are burned as fuel.

Verse five is a neglected part of this familiar Isaiah 9 reading, often skipped over at Carol services. But by skipping verse five we miss out some vivid imagery that is part of the process and hope of peace. It invites us to imagine the sounds of war being silenced and ridding ourselves of the wastefulness of war.

In our Advent anticipation could the burning of boots and the last of the bloody garments become a symbolic tradition in post-conflict places across the world? The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this, too.


Lord we have heard good news

and rejoiced that peace is proclaimed upon

the earth:

But peace is more than words

and too often Lord

we may have settled for lives of peace and quiet

and not sought out the acts of peace with justice.


When warriors’ boots have trampled over

people not our own, and places far from home

forgive us when we have said little and done less.

Forgive us for when garments rolled in blood

cried out the death of innocence,

when we have said little and done less.


Cast our faults and failures

as fuel for the fire:

consumed in the crucible of heaven’s judgment.

May we rise from the ashes on the earth

forged into a people for justice,

stepping up to the challenge

and into the kingdom of peace.

(From the Christian Aid Christmas appeal worship resources 2018)