Wednesday, February 27, 2013

a message of hope

I wrote these questions and passages at the beginning of the month and today, I feel that I need to write on the passage from Isaiah instead of the strong words from Paul.  Although Paul’s words are relevant and we should think about avoiding idols and creating room in our lives to be more mindful, this Isaiah passage speaks on hope.
Although we read Isaiah as one large book, it is clear that there is actually two (perhaps 3) authors Isaiah and different time periods that are being prophesied.  This is from second or deutro-Isaiah and in this passage the prophet is offering hope to an exiled Israel.
One of the key themes in this passage is the idea of inclusion for all.  Everyone is welcome to come to God.  This inclusive theme is important as it is key to Jesus theology and the welcoming of gentiles.  It doesn’t matter your income or what you own you are welcome to love God.  This is so important, today we use our economic status to separate ourselves out and it has become a big dividing point in our secular world.  Children even can feel this pressure when their parents can’t afford the latest trend in clothes or they can’t afford school lunches. 
And when we become spiritually drained or lose our spiritually hope, turning to God we can not only find hope but fill up.  Just because they are in exile doesn’t mean that God has turned his back from them.  This is a very important message for us to hear.  Even if it feels that God isn’t there, all we need to do is incline our ears and put our minds towards God. 
Turning to our verse of the week, I am reminded that when life is getting overwhelming we need to turn towards God and not towards the secular world that tries so hard to consume us.  We need to turn to the hope that is in our faith and the words of our Lord.  “Incline your ear and come to me; listen, so that you may live!”
Let us stop spending our energies on the secular world which only drains our resources but instead start living for God which replenishes our soul so that we may live more fully and more satisfied lives.  Let us pray this Lenten season and find more mindful ways to keep our eyes on the Divine.
Isaiah 55:1-9
1Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you that have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 2Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. 3Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live. I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David. 4See, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples. 5See, you shall call nations that you do not know, and nations that do not know you shall run to you because of the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you. 6Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; 7let the wicked forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts; let them return to the LORD, that he may have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 8For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD. 9For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.