I will admit, I am wrestling with the challenge of how to be a healing presence in the world this week. There is a brokenness that at times, I am afraid will never heal. What a gift that Isaiah 58 is our Old Testament reading! I will preach on it this Sunday.
When the people of Israel wondered if their society would ever be restored, God gave them these words as promise and challenge. They are words for us to live by too.
If you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday. The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail. Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in.
Last week I preached about the Beatitudes, the surprising list of blessings Jesus confers on his followers whose lives have changed so much in following him. I made the connection between the surprisingly joyful and empathetic community that often comes in the wake of disaster, and the kind of community that forms around the crucified Christ. As we pursue Christ’s call, we will encounter difficulty, but ever more, we will encounter blessing.
Be at Peace,