‘Driving Home for Christmas’, ‘Please come home for Christmas’, ‘I’ll be home this Christmastime’ and ‘I’ll be home for the holidays’, just a few of the many Christmas songs that you’ll no doubt of all ready heard as we begin our journey of Advent.
Each year for many people there will be a real desire to make their way ‘home’ to be around family and friends this Christmas. Of course the theme of ‘going home’ or at least going to the right home could be said to be central to the message of the Bible. However this is not the nostalgic, cosy homecoming represented by hugging your parents, eating Mum’s best Yorkshire’s and watching ‘Home Alone’ together.
The homecoming that is talked about in this passage from Isaiah is a whole world event where all of us are invited to be part of a new creation. This new creation has, at it’s very centre, the insistence that God is Sovereign, that his temple will be exalted over everything in creation.
The passage also suggests, I feel, that this new home is not something that is a long way off. Verse 2 in the NIV says that this vision occurs ‘In the last days’ but this could just as easily be translated, as the NRSV chooses to, as ‘days to come’.
We are called not to wait for our arrival at this new home but rather to change our way of thinking and looking at the world so that, like the prophet, we too may ‘see’ the vision of a world re-created by God.
So as we begin our journey of advent we do so seeking the hope of a home where we may truly ‘walk in the light of the Lord’