O Key of David and sceptre of the House of Israel; you open and no one can shut; you shut and no one can open: Come and lead the prisoners from the prison house, those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.

December 20 Swords to Plowshares  

During Advent we hear marvelous words from the prophets, among them this saying from the prophet Isaiah:  

They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. (Isa. 2:4) 

Many who read these words might well think that they’re too beautiful to be true, that such a claim is sheer fantasy. But there is creative power in this text, and if we trust it, it has the power to change us and our society.  

When I hear these words during Advent, I open my heart to them and let them speak to me, saying: “ is is what is truly real. ere is something beyond the news I hear or read every day. is world stands under the promises of God, and God can still work wonders today.” 

Consider the ways in which you might make swords into plowshares in your life. ink of the people you know at your job, in school, or in your neighborhood whom you have a hard time getting along with. Perhaps they’re people you avoid. Make some symbol or paint a simple picture that depicts what it might look like to take a sword and make a plowshare out of it. 

From Your Light Gives Us Hope, by Anselm Grün