Monday, September 3, 2018

Lectionary 23 B - Isaiah 35

Isaiah 35
Isaiah 35 begins with the parched land rejoicing and ends with the ransomed of the Lord returning to Zion with song as they are overtaken by joy and gladness. In the in-between are feeble hands and weak knees and fearful hearts that long for redemption. But since the chapter begins and ends with a promise Isaiah can say, “Be strong” to the feeble and weak and fearful of heart instead of “suck it up”. The ability to “be strong” comes from anticipating the promise as if it already was so that hands and knees become steady even when the ground is shaking. The blind are still blind. The deaf still cannot hear. The lame still limp and the dumb are still speechless. It is as simple and as difficult as that because we are more accustomed to “suck it up” than “be strong” or perhaps think they are the same thing and therefore are always running too fast in the present for the future promise to catch up with us. But when God’s ultimate vision becomes our eternal imagination the future bursts into the present like a rainstorm in the desert and the blind see and the deaf hear and the lame leap and the dumb shout for joy. What will be already is when by faith we stop “sucking it up” and allow the future gladness to overtake us. 

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