Thursday of the second week of Advent
For the mountains may depart
and the hills be removed,
but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,
and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,
says the LORD, who has compassion on you.
It is a recognition given to us by modern geology that mountains do come and go. The collision of the landmasses lift up the Himalayas, and the weathering of the rain tears them down. The Appalachians are old mountains, the Tetons new ones – but we can’t fathom the years involved. Sitting in the high Sierra’s, driving over the crest trail in Rocky Mountain National Park, hiking the White Mountains of New Hampshire, the mountains seem eternal.
The promise is simple. Even if it were possible to wake up in the morning and find them gone, it is even less so for God’s promise of peace to disappear.
A covenant of peace. A covenant, a relationship created by the speaking of promises – as in a marriage covenant. A promise that God will be faithful. God will not wake up some morning in a fit of anger because of a bad night’s sleep and start throwing lightning bolts. God will not be irritated by the noise of his human creation and decide to delete them from existence. God will not be sweet one day and bitter the next. God will be faithful to his world, to the people he created in his image.
We do not deserve it. We continually abuse, defile, curse, neglect and destroy others who also bear the divine image. We bend, twist, fold, and manipulate the commands of God and the simple requirements of human decency. But here is a god who looks upon his bent, twisted, folded and folding creatures and has compassion. God chooses peace. Forgiveness. Generosity. Abundance. God chooses peace.
God’s choice begs us to choose likewise.
Eternal God, Breath of Life,
Font of Hope, and our Eternal Joy;
Open the doors of our hearts, and the gates of your mercy
to come into our world and our lives,
and grant us the peace of your kingdom.
— The prayer for Week 2: A doorway to peace