Category Archives: Isaiah

The work of today

The Birth of St. John the Baptist
Spain, ca.1525
Gilded wood
Art Institute of Chicago

My daily work is to show up for life, treat all people with compassion, generosity, and respect, take care of today’s responsibilities, and help manifest God’s vision of peace, unity, and love in our fragile world.

Though I thought I had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength, yet my reward is with the LORD, my recompense is with my God. Isaiah 49:4

Healing comfort

Faith in God’s love, compassion, and constant, kindly presence empowers me to comfort those who are frightened, ill, lost, homeless, hungry, at risk, angry,  depressed, or in mourning.

Comfort calms and renews hope. It is a gift that heals.

Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God. Isaiah 40:1

Worthy

Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard
11th c.
Byzantine gospel. Paris, National Library

God surrounds, fills, and blesses each human person with the same abundant love, compassion, and comfort. We don’t have to prove our worth to God. Whenever we show up for God, God is already there with a warm welcome.

Today I will make God’s boundless, unbiased love apparent by treating everyone I encounter with respect and kindness.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD. As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9

 

A spirit of knowledge

2_candlesImagine the knowledge of God’s love, compassion, and forgiveness filling and covering the whole earth. How reverently we would step. How respectfully we would treat each other. How quickly we would help anyone in need. How peaceful our homes, communities, and countries would be.

Am I willing to participate in the kingdom of God—here and now?

There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD, as water covers the sea. Isaiah 11:9

Respond to the voices

A voice cries out in the wilderness

“A voice cries out in the wilderness”
Israeli wall around the West Bank

[John] said: “I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘make straight the way of the Lord,'” as Isaiah the prophet said.” John 1:23

Jesus does not exist apart from human struggles, human injustice, human atrocities. The voices I hear calling from war-torn countries show me where to find Jesus: right in the middle of it all.

How will I respond to the voices calling to me today? How will I make straight the way of the Lord in the midst of human suffering?

 

 

Without labels

Apostles Peter and Paul

El Greco (1541-1614)
Apostles Peter and Paul, ca.1592
Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg

[Jesus] said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Matthew 16:15

I can’t control God with labels. All I can do is rest in the presence of the Divine and be filled with the gifts chosen for me.

All I can do is model myself—to the best of my ability—on Jesus, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Compassion of God, Father of Mercies, God of All Comfort.

All I can do is let God be God and turn my will and my life over to God’s tender care and loving direction.

Finding the way

2_candles

Second Sunday of Advent

It was of [John the Baptist] that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said:
A voice of one crying out in the desert,
Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.
Matthew 3:3

John the Baptist points the way to Jesus, the Compassion of God, the Prince of Peace. How have I pointed the way to compassion and peace today? Will I make the effort to point the way to compassion and peace tomorrow?