SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT
In this beautiful poem, “First Isaiah” speaks about a king in the line of David, the “stem of Jesse” (David’s father) who will restore the world to its original peace. The images of the animals at peace with one another and their child master are unforgettable. The kings of Israel were thought to be descendants from David. When they came to the throne, they were traditionally welcomed as messiahs. Our reading may have been written to celebrate the anointing of Hezekiah as king, but Christians see it as a prophecy of Christ the King. According to Matthew and Luke, Jesus was also a descendant of David, for he was born in Bethlehem, the City of David.
In his coming visit to Rome, Paul expects to meet many recent converts who are gentiles. (I am sure that most of you know what the word “gentile” means, but newcomers may not. It means anyone who is not Jewish.) He urges all the people, Jew or gentile, to live in harmony. Although Jesus and the first Christians were Jews (as was Paul himself), the Old Testament prophecies, in Paul’s view, make clear that gentiles can also receive the good news of God’s love.
© Arthur H. Cash