Silence and Centering – Pause for 5 minutes of Silence
“Be still, and know that I am God; – Psalm 46:1
Confession: Merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed. We have not loved you with our whole heart and mind and strength; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. In your mercy, forgive what we have been, help us amend what we are, and direct what we shall be, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your holy name. Amen.
FIRST READING: Isaiah 2:1-5
This is what Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:
2 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.
3 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.
4 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.
5 Come, descendants of Jacob,
let us walk in the light of the Lord.
SECOND READING: John 15:18-27
18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’[a] If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. 24 If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’[b]
26 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.
prophetic ministry expressed in the book of Isaiah covers a long period of history in which there were both times of joy and plenty, and times of judgment and struggle. Right at the start of the prophetic ministry of Isaiah, though, the prophet receives a vision of hope. It’s a vision of God’s Reign established on earth, and of justice, peace, and global community. Isaiah, and those who followed him and spoke in his name, would need to draw on this vision and the hope it brought when the times came for them to speak words of warning and judgment to God’s people.
As we reflect on this vision, it’s important to recognise the role that worship plays. It’s not so much that God dreams of a time when people will stroke God’s ego.
Rather, it’s the call to worship that brings unity and community to the peoples of the world, and it is out of worship that God’s life-giving word goes out into the world to heal, bless and bring peace and justice. Notice, also, that the vision closes with a call for God’s people to respond by walking in God’s light. At least one of the meanings of this light would be the light of revelation by which we see God’s nature and learn to follow. As we reflect on the Trinity in the next few days, it’s important that we allow the light of revelation to show us the community and love that is at the heart of God and shared by the three Persons of the Trinity and allow this revelation to lead us deeper into lives of love and compassion toward one another. How can you allow your worship to make you more like your loving, compassionate God today?
DO: This prophecy calls for a response – to walk in God’s light. It’s a call to live in peace, justice, and love, and it’s a call to which we still need to respond. Today, respond to God by renewing your commitment to be transformed through worship, and to follow in God’s ways.
PRAY: I celebrate your vision of a world of justice and peace, O God, and I commit to living it out today.
Conclude with 3 Minutes of Silence