Blessed Is the Peacemaker


Isaiah 2:1–5 (NIV)

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.


“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord.” Isaiah’s invitation to ascend the mountain is an invitation to experience the presence of God. Throughout the Scripture narrative, the mountain is symbolic of the meeting place with God. Moses and Elijah, pillars of the Law and Prophets, both have mountaintop encounters where the Divine Glory is revealed. But in the miracle of the incarnation, the mountain of the Lord has come down to us. The Presence himself has made his dwelling among us, not descending in fire and cloud but in flesh and blood.

And the arrival of his presence will bring the arrival of peace. Blessed is the peacemaker, Isaiah encourages us, for he will embrace enemies and call them the children of God. He sees a coming revolution, where weapons of destruction will become tools of cultivation, from equipment designed to take lives to equipment designed to sustain and nurture life. Warriors transformed into farmers. What is hidden here is that this is a reversal of what was a common scene in the ancient world. When your home or village or nation was attacked, everyone became a warrior and everyday tools formed a makeshift arsenal. When war came to your land, the farmers became fighters, reaching for every blade and sharp edge to be used as a sword or spear to defend their tribes and homes. But Isaiah foresees that when this Prince of Peace arrives among us, warriors are reversed into farmers and swords into plows. When his conquest rolls in, perfect love drives out fear, and battle morphs into healing.

This is a grand vision of an ultimate and final peace. But the healing and peace starts in the immediate, here and now, first with God and then with others, all by Christ. And how far will that peace spread? To the most difficult places of all. Not only in an abstract, universal sense, but into our own broken relationships, families, and homes which often feel like the most war-torn of territories.

It’s interesting that this passage from Isaiah builds to this invitation: “Come, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the Lord.” The name Jacob alone reminds us of a broken family history, not only enemies across boundary lines, but within bloodlines. Retrace the line and remember that Jacob’s story begins with Abraham, the father of Isaac and Ishmael, two brothers who become enemies. Isaac has twin sons, Esau and Jacob, who become enemies. Jacob has twelve sons, with eleven turning against Joseph in betrayal. These twelve sons become the twelve tribes of Israel, who will later divide into two separate kingdoms. Jesus even tells his most memorable story by beginning with the words, “There once was a [father] who had two sons . . .” (Matt. 21:28).

Out of their division, God brings peace to the world, and through Jesus, the Father shows that he desires to restore the Isaacs and Ishmaels to each other and himself. From the time of Cain and Abel, sin has been turning family into enemies. But the Prince of Peace has come to turn enemies into family.


Peacemaker, bring your reign of peace to our broken places.


What relationships need healing in the here and now? How can you become a peacemaker in that place?

For the Awakening,
Matt LeRoy

P. S. An Additional Word About Today’s Entry

As you know, these daily readings are drawn from an Advent book written well before this current Advent season. An entry like today’s strikes me, at first reading, as almost out of touch and insensitive to the reality of the world we find ourselves in. I could not foresee the tragedies we have all witnessed. If I did, I probably would not have written these words in the same way. That is my confession.

The Holy Spirit, however, who inspired Isaiah’s writing centuries upon centuries ago, certainly could. Unlike me, God is not quick to temper words of hope against the impossible backdrop of reality. No, the one who inspired Isaiah’s writing knew all too well what the world is capable of. God’s Spirit wants us to know what he is capable of. Even then. Even now. The Holy Spirit writes it straight, and as foolish as it may seem in days like these, we believe it. Not because we are insensitive to the tragedy—no, our hearts are repeatedly crushed by it—but because this radical vision was designed for days like these when it is needed most.

And so we believe it . . . and we open ourselves to become a part of it.

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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion

3 Responses

  1. “What relationships need healing in the here and now? “ Maybe I’m a bit too naive, but my biggest concern are not the wars in the Middle East or Europe, but the fact that Christ’s Church seems to become more divided with each passing day, and every attempt at reformation ultimately leads to more conflict and divisions. It’s going to be very hard to convince the unbelieving world that the Church has received the ministry of reconciliation between humanity and God, when it can’t even find reconciliation within in itself. I believe the “old wine skin “ of the institutional church with its many denominational divisions is far beyond repair. God will have to furnish a “new wine skin”. That is my humble prayer.

  2. “The Prince of Peace has come to turn enemies into family.” (I woke up this morning with this poem forming in my spirit.)

    The world is weaponized.
    Violence is mechanized.
    People are terrorized.
    And we have turned our eyes .
    From the Prince of Peace.

    It’s time to open our conscience to the ongoing, conscious awareness of the presence and reality of the risen Jesus and to begin to hear and what the Spirit is saying to us. It’s time to let Christ live in you, direct you, and build you into His assembly (ekklesia) on the rock of intimate personal revelation from God. Beat the swords and spears in your heart into plows and begin to cultivate the gifts and the fruit of the Holy Spirit within you so that they can bring your every thought captive to obey Christ. Open up to His inner rivers of living water so that He, the Prince of Peace, can restore His garden to your heart and spread it to people around the world.

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