All will sit underneath their own grapevines, under their own fig trees. There will be no one to terrify them; for the mouth of the Lord of heavenly forces has spoken. — Micah 4:4
I was reading Micah 4 one day and read about beating swords into plows and spears into pruning hooks. Where had I heard that before? It was in Isaiah 2, a passage we often read in advent; it ends with foretelling of a time when nations won’t “study war” any more.
Isaiah and Micah were contemporaries. It’s interesting they share the same prophecy but end it differently.
Micah ended it with a call to justice. People will live on their own property. No one will destroy it or take it from them. They can harvest their own grapes and figs; they can work and earn a just profit from their labor.
Isn’t such justice actually what needs to happen if we want peace?
As long as people are denied basic rights because of skin color, gender, sexual orientation, etc., there will be no peace.
As long as people are exploited and not paid a fair wage for their work, there will be no peace.
As long as people get unequal treatment in the justice system because of race or economic status, there will be no peace.
What other “as long as” statements come to mind?
Perhaps a good spiritual exercise is to read daily news stories and ask, “If there was justice, would I be reading about this?”
St. Francis had it right when he began his prayer, “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.” But if we’re going to be such an instrument, we must also imitate Dr. Martin Luther King and be a drum major for justice.