Fr. James' Lectionary

The Lectionary is both a reading program for completing all of Holy Scripture on a one year schedule, and a daily comment on a portion of the day's reading wedded to a poem to give an added perspective on the theme.

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Location: Amherst, Virginia, United States

Monday, January 02, 2006

The Backside of Days

Daily Readings
Psalm 1 Genesis 1:1-2:3 Isaiah 2:1-21 Acts 1

Daily Text: Isaiah 2:1-21

The Backside of Days
If both prophecies within this chapter fall under the superscription of verse 1, the vision includes a source place for the LORD’s peace for the entire world, that is, Jerusalem, as well as a day of judgement for Judah and Jerusalem. The uniting theme is theologically important in that the LORD has, in his covenant with Israel, settled the outcome of history. The words in 2:2 “In days to come” might be more accurately translated, “On the backside of days.” That is, on the backside of days, at the end of days; history is seen by the prophet as a whole, i.e., something complete, settled, and determined by the LORD. There is no question, as history moves towards its consummation eschatalogically, peace will be achieved, but there will be a Day of the LORD, a day of judgement first.
This passage 2-5 is more or less word for word with Micah 4:1-3. Some scholars believe that neither Isaiah or Micah wrote this passage, but drew it into their prophecy as a critical theological balance for their words of judgement. Kaiser [469 52] ruminates about authorship resting with the Korahites, the Levitical guild of temple singers about the end of the fifth century. However, it seems more likely to this author that the passage was composed in reference to covenantal theology in the eighth century or earlier.

The Prophecy
Lon Woodrum

There’s a voice on the wind of the world
speaking dreams from the ancient books:
they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruninghooks.

Have you heard the voice in the darkness,
coming up from the foggy past?
Do you hear, you winged warriors,
over the cyclonic blast
of motors, and the shriek of the bombs as they fall?
Did you hear it, you beautiful sons,
you dead of Caen and Tarawa,
as you fell in the flash of the guns?

You can hear it, earth, you can hear it
in the crackle of cities that burn,
in the lancing cry of the children,
in the silence of those who will never return.

There’s a voice on the wind of the world,
beating loud on the uttermost shore:
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more.

There’s a voice on the wind of the world,
the voice long-crushed.
Woe to the waters, the dust and the cloud,
if the voice be hushed!
407:1787

Collect for the Day
Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that all peoples may be gathered under the banner of the Prince of Peace, as children of one Father; to whom be dominion and glory, now and for ever. Amen.
[BCP 815]

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