“The deepest source of hope is the God of Isaiah,” wrote the great peacemaker Daniel Berrigan. This hope permeates Isaiah’s vision of peace. Hope that swords can be beaten into plowshares. Hope that the lowly will be raised and tyrants will descend from their thrones. Hope that all shall live together in peace upon God’s holy mountain.
Writings of the prophet Isaiah resound with hope throughout the Advent season. This great prophet proclaimed God’s promise of peace during turbulent times of war and calamity. Indeed, the Book of Isaiah chronicles a great tension between violence and the peaceable kin-dom promised by God. No matter how great the tension or how deep the turmoil, Isaiah remained anchored in a vision of peace that persevered through times of peril.
And isn’t that what we are longing for in these turbulent times? A promise of peace that we can believe in and a nonviolent vision to sustain us?
This is why Isaiah’s writings are so relevant for us today. Who better to lead us on our Advent journey than a prophet who tasted God’s longing for nonviolent transformation? Who better to kindle our flame of Advent hope than one who remained faithful to God’s vision of peace through doubt and despair?
This e-course will offer three posts per week for the first three weeks of Advent and two posts during the fourth week. Each post will feature a reflection on the Advent scriptures of Isaiah and offer pearls of nonviolent wisdom for the times in which we live. Questions for reflection will be provided as well as prompts to deepen your Advent prayer.
Come, draw near to the God of Isaiah, whose spirit is a glowing ember of eternal hope.
This four-week eCourse runs December 1 to 28.
You will have access to this eCourse for six months after the course concludes.
The creator and facilitator of this e-course is Nancy Small, MDiv., an oblate of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie. Nancy is a spiritual director, hospice chaplain and author of Seizing the Nonviolent Moments: Reflections on the Spirituality of Nonviolence Through the Lens of Scripture (Cascade Books, 2015). She is an Ambassador of Peace with Pax Christi USA, a national Catholic peace organization.