Advent-ure Calendar Day 13: Peace – Isaiah 52:7-10 – the beacons are lit

How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace,
who bring good tidings,
who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion,
“Your God reigns!”

Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices;
together they shout for joy.
When the Lord returns to Zion,
they will see it with their own eyes.

Burst into songs of joy together,
you ruins of Jerusalem,
for the Lord has comforted his people,
he has redeemed Jerusalem.

The Lord will lay bare his holy arm
in the sight of all the nations,
and all the ends of the earth will see
the salvation of our God.

(Isaiah 52:7-10 NIV)

The image of the watchman is used a lot in scripture. It is something quite unfamiliar to us, the idea of keeping watch for signs of intrusion or the return of an army from battle is odd in our world of instant communication.

As a meditation on today’s reading, watch this clip from the film The Return of the King (based on Tolkein’s book). Here the beacons are being lit to call for aid. Imagine that the beacons are the good news being brought on the mountains, the light passing down through all the prophets to announce the birth of Christ:

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