Preparation for Worship (11/8/14)

Scripture to consider: Isaiah 2

This is what Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:

In the last days

the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established
    as the highest of the mountains;
it will be exalted above the hills,
    and all nations will stream to it.

Many peoples will come and say,

“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
    to the temple of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us his ways,
    so that we may walk in his paths.”
The law will go out from Zion,
    the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He will judge between the nations
    and will settle disputes for many peoples.
They will beat their swords into plowshares
    and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation,
    nor will they train for war anymore.

Come, descendants of Jacob,
    let us walk in the light of the Lord.

You, Lord, have abandoned your people,
    the descendants of Jacob.
They are full of superstitions from the East;
    they practice divination like the Philistines
    and embrace pagan customs.
Their land is full of silver and gold;
    there is no end to their treasures.
Their land is full of horses;
    there is no end to their chariots.
Their land is full of idols;
    they bow down to the work of their hands,
    to what their fingers have made.
So people will be brought low
    and everyone humbled—
    do not forgive them.

10 Go into the rocks, hide in the ground
    from the fearful presence of the Lord
    and the splendor of his majesty!
11 The eyes of the arrogant will be humbled
    and human pride brought low;
the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.

12 The Lord Almighty has a day in store
    for all the proud and lofty,
for all that is exalted
    (and they will be humbled),
13 for all the cedars of Lebanon, tall and lofty,
    and all the oaks of Bashan,
14 for all the towering mountains
    and all the high hills,
15 for every lofty tower
    and every fortified wall,
16 for every trading ship
    and every stately vessel.
17 The arrogance of man will be brought low
    and human pride humbled;
the Lord alone will be exalted in that day,
18     and the idols will totally disappear.

19 People will flee to caves in the rocks
    and to holes in the ground
from the fearful presence of the Lord
    and the splendor of his majesty,
    when he rises to shake the earth.
20 In that day people will throw away
    to the moles and bats
their idols of silver and idols of gold,
    which they made to worship.
21 They will flee to caverns in the rocks
    and to the overhanging crags
from the fearful presence of the Lord
    and the splendor of his majesty,
    when he rises to shake the earth.

22 Stop trusting in mere humans,
    who have but a breath in their nostrils.
    Why hold them in esteem?

photo courtesy of Stephen Richard Thomas Brown

Thought to ponder:

“This is a very terrible experience. As long as what you are afraid of is something evil, you may still hope that the good may come to your rescue. But suppose you struggle through to the good and find that it also is dreadful? How if food itself turns out to be the very thing you can’t eat, and home the very place you can’t live, and you very comforter the person who makes you uncomfortable? Then, indeed, there is no rescue possible: the last card has been played.”

—C. S. Lewis, Perelandra, 17

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