Swords into ploughshares, AK47s into art
Isaiah 2: 2-5
2 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.
3 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.
4 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.
5 O house of Jacob,
come, let us walk
in the light of the Lord!
A Mozambique Christmas meal includes fresh seasonal, local fruit such as pineapple or papaya. A tropical flavoured Christmas. But you won’t pick any fruit from this Mozambique tree pictured.
Take a closer look, what do you see? Does it look unusual? It’s no ordinary tree. It is called ‘The Tree of Life’ and is made entirely from guns and other weapons used in the Mozambique civil war. It was made by Mozambican artists working on a Christian Aid supported project that exchanged weapons for equipment such as sewing machines, bicycles and building materials.
Isaiah 2: 2-5 gives us a vision of lasting peace, a peace so sure you don’t just decommission weapons, you deconstruct them and make something life-giving from them. The Tree of Life and Isaiah 2 provides a vision of how things can be for countries still entrenched in civil war, and so we pray:
We pray that we may profoundly welcome Jesus Christ this Christmas season;
and that one day the words from Isaiah will be fulfilled
in all places where conflict persists
As we earnestly wait for that day,
giving thanks for work being done and the work still to do,
we pray for all who are working for peace
in Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan,
Yemen, South Sudan, Syria,
the Democratic Republic of Congo and across the world
Help us to realise the purpose of the coming of Jesus Christ for all human kind.
So may we patiently anticipate the great and true joy that only Christ can bring,
the hope and potential he offers always.