Casual visitors will note it looks different here. The season of violet tinged with rose (December 15th) and white (the 8th and 12th) has arrived. And maybe there’s a bit of blue. Vestments have required colors, but I’ll decorate as I enjoy. That blended place between blue and purple is just right for Advent.
The vision of the first reading this weekend has long been a favorite:
(The God of Jacob) shall judge between the nations,
and set terms for many peoples.
They shall beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks;
One nation shall not raise the sword against another,
nor shall they train for war again. (Isaiah 2:4)
The notion that people in conflict will settle their differences by taking them to God, rather than settling them by violence, is a wondrous dream. It’s a dream we should not easily dismiss. We have a few reasons for that. The world dismisses peace far too easily. Our passions are much more enjoyable. Even non-believers seem to relish adopting God’s right to impose terms on others. And even without weapons of war so readily provided by American arms dealers, folks worldwide plot out and plan arguments to vanquish opponents by various means: fake news, gossip and detraction, a louder voice, money to mount a better publicity campaign, and other behaviors.