Hello friends! We continue our journey through Isaiah but today we cover a pretty large section of it. For the next 6 days we will be in book 1 of Isaiah. Just a reminder, that's the period of time BEFORE the exile that happens at the end of 2 Kings. This is a collection of "heads up" to the nations of Israel. For that reason, book 1 can come across a little abrasive and really hellfire and damnation stuff. Book 2 is where we get Isaiah the prophet as "pastor" and some of the most beautiful reflections on the messiah. If you're struggling with it...keep going, the best is yet to come.
Scripture to Read
Questions to Consider
What does this teach me about God?
What does this teach me about humanity and the conflicts they were facing in their time?
What does this teach me about the role of the prophet? How is Jesus' prophecy of Revelation different from these?
Does any of this feel relevant?
- My Thoughts -
In June of 2020 we ran a 3 week sermon series about the church and climate change. One of the weeks I talked about the reasons why faithful people would either deny climate change OR actively resist efforts to slow it down. For example, some might argue that scripture declares that the seasons are designed by God and that God has it all under control. Or, some might argue that the sign of Jesus return is prophecied by the drying up of lakes...why would we put water back in the lake when we want Jesus to come! Today's scripture spoke to me about climate and the theology of it. Isaiah laments against Israel in chapter 24 and goes on a lengthy list of things where the world is dying...but he does not say because God wants it to end but rather God cries to see its destruction. Vs 5 says "the earth is defiled by its people."
In that climate series we challenged you to take a quiz about your carbon footprint and challenged you to find ways to cut that back by as little as 10% and as much as 50% in the next year. How are you doing with that? Did you slip? Are you going strong?
Climate change is real. Science is real. Science is not anti-God. To be faithful is to be steward of God's creation and to leave a legacy for future generations that is better than the world we grew up in. Isaiah laments of a world that is drying up and dying because of human sin...I shudder to think that he is talking about us. Let's do better, not just for our sake, but because our faith demands it.
I have a new idea: Let's pray (or sing!) the appropriate hymn for the day we are on. Today we pray (or sing) Hymn 114 "Many Gifts One Spirit"
God change and God of glory God of time and space
when we fear the future give to us your grace
In the midst of changing ways give us still the grace to praise
Many Gifts, one spirit, one love known in many ways.
In our differences is blessing, from diversity we praise One Giver
one Lord, one Spirit, one Word known in many ways
hallowing our days. For the Giver, for the gifts, praise, praise, praise!
God of many colors, God of many signs
you have made us different, blessing many kinds
As the old ways disappear let your love cast out our fear
Freshness of the morning newness of each day
you are still creating endless love and light
This we see as shadows part many gifts from one great heart