On God’s Holy Mountain – Week 5

Isaiah11  week5


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When I first started reflecting on Isaiah’s prophetic vision of paradise, “On God’s Holy Mountain,” I was struck by how hard it was going to be to achieve his dream. Perhaps I could see that the wolf could be the guest of the lamb, or the leopard lie down with the young goat. Animal behavior after all could be re-configured with the right training and perhaps some DNA adjustments. But I could never contemplate how his last couplet could be achieved where “the baby shall play at the viper’s den and the child lay his hand on the adder’s lair. “ I have detested snakes since childhood, and I couldn’t imagine putting any child outside a serpent’s den, whether the snakes inside were poisonous or not. I couldn’t imagine myself as that child.

I think it was then that I realized Isaiah was calling me to reflect on where I was stuck. What was the deepest blockage that was keeping me from God’s mountain? I didn’t have to spend much time pondering that question. For years I have been estranged from my younger brother. A real estate deal went bad, we ended up in court, where we said very bad things about the other. The suit got settled but our relationship was kaput and has remained frozen ever since. So I got up the courage to send him an email (it felt like putting my hand on the adder’s lair) and he wrote back (no sting) and we exchanged a few more emails, more perfunctory but a start. There is still a long journey ahead if we are to sit down at “The Table of Brotherhood,” Martin Luther King’s beautiful image of a reconciled people. But I pray for him and his family, pray that there may be more softening of both our hearts and pray that someday we will be together “On God’s Holy Mountain.”

-Prepared by parishioner Roger Sullivan