Sunday, December 14, 2008

Oaks of justice

The Hebrew scripture reading for the Third Sunday of Advent is from Isaiah 61. When I read the beginning of that chapter, I was struck by a verse that is not included in the reading although its substance certainly is.

They will be called oaks of justice,
planted by the Lord to show his glory.
Is 61:3

Isaiah is telling the people that God will rebuild Jerusalem after its destruction and the removal of Jews to Babylon. He will reestablish his eternal covenant with them and the preeminence of Jerusalem, but this preeminence will be based on justice and mercy rather than worldly domination.

An oak is truly a magnificent tree: slow growing, solid, long lasting, large, and imposing. It stands as a monument to perseverance and strength as well as the peaceful shelter of its shade. What if each of our lives were such a monument, a clear sign of justice for all. This is how God desires to demonstrate God's power and glory. A group of people tried to be those oaks in front of the Border Patrol Office in Rochester. See the story in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle. View photos.