Monday, August 15, 2011

Pentecost 10a - Isaiah 51:1-6

Isaiah 51:1-6
The ransomed of the Lord returned unto Zion with singing (Isaiah 35) but their songs were soon silenced by the harsh reality of cities laid waste by war and neglect and the hostility of homesteaders reluctant to make room for the recently released. The ransomed of the Lord, wearied by the frustrations presented by freedom, were tempted to change their tune like their ancestors wandering in the wilderness and long to return to the relative comfort of captivity. In the midst of this crisis of identity God reminds them of the past and makes promises for the future to restore in them hope for the present. With eyes lifted to the same stars Abraham could not count they are reminded of their humble beginnings and comforted with songs of deliverance that promise a forever future of joy and gladness. Remembering God’s past faithfulness while anticipating God’s future providence is the song of forever freedom and the way we overcome whatever troubles, whatever frightens, whatever might lead us to become comfortable with captivity.


  1. Currently reading a book on Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement, and I find this same reality existed in Birmingham and Selma. After the major events in those cities, many involved in the nonviolent protests found themselves worse off than they were before (Bearing the Cross, pg. 424-425). One of the realities God's children must face is that in the struggle for peace and justice there is the risk of finding one's self uncomfortable, frustrated, kicked out on the street, and losing every worldly possession. Yet God's answer to this life-of-losing-everything-on-the-way-to-death-by-crucifixion is the hope of resurrection and the mysterious in-breaking of God's kingdom.

  2. Hi Phil:
    Interesting, I read Monday's post just now and it pretty well hit me where I live. Too much going on to relate here, but suffice it to say they are falling like meteors all around us. It helped to be reminded that GOD's monstrously creative providence is at work even when we cannot see.

    Helpful as well was Tyler's reminder that following the Christ is dangerous and risky and tiring and full of trouble (2 cor. 11:23-27), and besides this there is the daily care of the churches! (2 cor.11:28)