Swords into plows

“They shall beat their swords into plowshares,
their spears into pruning hooks.”
Isaiah 2: 4

The Advent lectionary begins with the vision of a world where the hungry have the tools to feed themselves and their families – and the war-makers have to give up their weapons. In a world where trillions of dollars are spent on war and weapons of war and where billions do not have enough to eat, this is a message that needs to be put into practice by the nations of the world.

This hope and prayer are found in this prayer of Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav, a prayer that we might pray throughout Advent:

May we see the day when war and bloodshed cease,
when a wondrous peace will embrace the world,
when nation will not threaten nation,
when humanity will not experience war.
For all who inhabit this world will realize
that we have not come into being
to argue, to hate, or to be violent.
For we have come into being
to praise, to labor, and to love.
Compassionate God, bless us
with the power of compassion.
Fulfill the promise conveyed in Scripture:
I will bring peace to the land
and you shall lie down and no one shall make you afraid.
I will rid the land of vicious beasts
and it shall not be ravaged by war.
Let love and justice flow like a mighty stream.
Let peace fill the earth as the waters fills the sea. Amen.

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