Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent
March 23, 2020
Today, in Mercy, all I can think is, “This passage from Isaiah could not have come at a more perfect time!”
Walter Brueggemann calls Isaiah 65 “a glorious artistic achievement”. Indeed, these images confirm his statement:
- a new heavens and a new earth;
- constant rejoicing and happiness
- people will be a delight
- no weeping or crying;
- long life for all
- everyone with a home
- enough for all to eat
As we pray with this passage today, we may experience a longing for a return to our beautiful, safe world. During this pandemic, we all pray from a place of anxiety, loss, constrainment, or some degree of suffering.
Isaiah’s community prayed from the same place. All the beautiful images were a promise not yet realized. The prophetic poetry of Isaiah is a call to courageous hope, not a description of current circumstances.
Faith invites us, even as we experience a bittersweet longing, to trust that God is with us, teaching us and leading us deeper into the Divine Understanding. Even as circumstances turn our world upside down, God will guide the falling pieces to a blessed place if we commit to find God in the tumbling.
I don’t think many of us would deny that the world before Corona needed fixing. The systems we have built have left many in deficit long before 2020, and we have failed to address the wound.
Corona has laid that failure bare.
Now that some of that deficit is universally shared, may we be opened to an irrevocable awareness of our common humanity and responsibility for one another.
Only by such an outcome will we move closer to Isaiah’s peaceful Kingdom. Only by our courage to embrace it, can God fulfill the Promise in us.
Music: O Day of Peace – Carl P. Daw