During the season of Advent, people from our congregation at Martins Creek Mennonite Church have collaborated to create an Advent devotional. Each entry has been written by one of our own, both young and old. We hope these meditations are a blessing to you during this Advent season.
Isaiah 56:1-3, 6-8
This passage seeks to encourage us in our collective Christian life. Not only that we may not stray or wander, but that we will flourish through defending the justice of the LORD. The command is clear, “Maintain Justice and do what is right.” Looking at this verse from a 21st century perspective, it appears to imply that there is an objective right and wrong that is knowable, and the source of this morality is our GOD. We are told that we will be blessed if we remain steadfast in our commitment to the Truth.
This promise does not stand alone, however. There is also a prediction of salvation and the realization of the fullness of GOD’s righteousness. This second promise is not conditional on one’s ability to defend the Sabbath or keep their hands free from evil, it’s happening regardless, with our without consent. Even foreigners and Eunuchs (individuals traditionally excluded from the assembly of the LORD) could be welcomed into part of God’s people.
This is, of course, related to the coming of Christ and the message of Christmas, which is brought full circle in verse 8. Verse 8 is a promise of salvation for people beyond the nation of Israel; the LORD will gather more “besides those already gathered.” This should give us wonder.