Advent 2010 | Week-to-Week

One of main things we talked about throughout our planning was to start with the corporate aspect.  Don’t always jump to the individual response first.  What is it that “we” are to do in response to each passage?  So keep that in mind.

Also, Jon wanted to point out the difference between foretelling and forthtelling.  Foretelling is predicting the future (ie. “here’s what’s going to happen in the future…”).  That’s not what the prophets do.  Forthtelling is bringing of the character of God into the situation. (ie. “here’s what happens…” or “if you continue down this path, this will be the end result…”).  This is how the prophets communicated the will of God.

Week 1 – Nov 28 – Isaiah 2:1-5
Theme: Peace
It’s God’s desire that we would have peace, not war.  It’s okay to forget about Joshua for a moment.  The main thrust of this passage is that one day…you will not be in this situation.  Eventually, you will be in God’s great city once again and there will be no need for weapons.  Not just for the Israelites but for all nations.  Key point: the weapons are not cast away but are redeemed, turned into farm tools.

Week 2 – Dec 5 – Isaiah 11:1-10
Theme: Reconciliation
Enemies to justice.  Something has to be overcome.  What are our natural instincts?  World change happens not by “not” doing something, its by doing something.  Steak is much better than straw (v.7)  It’s not “lions and lambs,” but “wolves and lambs.”

Week 3 – Dec 12 – Isaiah 35:1-10
Theme: Hope
Homegoing, Homecoming.  God is still there/here/near even in exile/desert/death/loneliness.  Prevalence of God in creation.  This passage uses an image of the desert bringing forth vegetation to describe the people of Israel when they will return home.  We are “resident aliens.”

Week 4 – Dec 19 – Isaiah 7:10-17
Theme: Emmanuel
In our fear sometimes we compromise what God has for us.  The thing that fear causes you to do ends up being your undoing.

Here‘s a sample of Walter Bruggemann’s commentary on Isaiah that should be helpful in knowing the Israelite situation a little better.