Monday, August 9, 2010

Mary the Mother of our Lord - Isaiah 61:7-11

Isaiah 61:7-11
It seems to me the prophet Isaiah always talks about the future as if “the garments of salvation” and “robes of righteousness” have already come back from the cleaners and are hanging in the closet. Isaiah is the prophet who casts the vision of the forever feast on the holy mountain where the vast multitude eats rich food and sips fine wine while God dines on death. He imagines the lion lying down with the lamb without licking its lips. Isaiah proclaims the way in the wilderness by which the ransomed return, where the blind see, the lame walk, the deaf hear, the dumb shout for joy. These words of promise were written to those whose lot was dishonor, who sold into slavery suffered shame as they sat by the waters of Babylon and wept. But somehow in the speaking of what must have seemed beyond believing the dream came true and the ransomed returned to Zion singing the very songs their captors had used to torment them. Granted, the return was not as neat and tidy as the words on the page. The dream does come true, it is experienced, but only in part, a present reality and a not yet. It can be true for us as well, when robed in righteousness and clothed in garments of salvation by the grace of God, we return from exiles of our own design or those designed for us. When we join God in loving justice and working against the ways of robbery and wrong doing in all its various forms, including those dressed in respectability and protected by power. When shame and dishonor, whether real or imagined, is replaced with something resembling everlasting joy by an act of kindness or a word of encouragement, the future breaks into the present, and we live the dream, if only for a moment, as if already awakened into the future forever feast.

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