The book of Isaiah ends on this note: “. . . the time is coming to gather all nations and tongues. And they shall come and shall see my glory, and I will set a sign among them. And from them I will send survivors to the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, who draw the bow, to Tugal and Javan, to the coastlands far away, that have not heard my fame or seen my glory. And they shall declare my glory among the nations. And they shall bring all your brothers from all the nations as an offering to the Lord, on horses and in chariots and in litters and on mules and on dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem says the Lord” (66:18-20).
“To the coastlands far away, that have not heard my fame or seen my glory” . . . Isaiah knew nothing of the shores of North America. I suspect he could not even imagine its existence. But he spoke for the God of whom he could say, “Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, And are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales; Behold, He lifts up the islands like fine dust” (40:15). He intended for his glory to be known among the nations, and so it has come to pass, and so it is coming to pass. And so the good news has come to us, so far distant from Jerusalem and so remote in time. Peace and grace to all the nations. Remember this verse from the Christmas carol, “O Little Town of Bethlehem?”
For Christ is born of Mary
and, gathered all above,
while mortals sleep, the angels keep
their watch of wond’ring love.
O morning stars, together
proclaim the holy birth,
and praises sing to God the King,
and peace to men on earth. -- Phillips Brooks (1868)