Let yourself become open to God and the knowledge that comes from the Word. Ask God for peace at this time.
Isaiah 51:1-3 (NRSV)
Listen to me, you that pursue righteousness,
you that seek the LORD.
Look to the rock from which you were hewn,
and to the quarry from which you were dug.
Look to Abraham your father
and to Sarah who bore you;
for he was but one when I called him,
but I blessed him and made him many.
For the LORD will comfort Zion;
he will comfort all her waste places,
and will make her wilderness like Eden,
her desert like the garden of the LORD;
joy and gladness will be found in her,
thanksgiving and the voice of song.
In today’s society people who do the work of the church often meet with frustration as they seek to compete with a long list of priorities other than the church. However, the prophet Isaiah reassures us that Zion (the church) will receive boundless blessings when focused on the Lord.
Many of us can draw strength from our ancestors’ examples. Even though my grandparents and parents have all been dead for many years, I can still recall the joy of their Christian faith.
I can visualize my grandmother raising her hand toward heaven as she sang “Shall We Gather at the River” in the front pew of her little country church. I can still hear my father singing his solo from John W. Petersen’s cantata No Greater Love: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God!”
Like our ancestors Abraham and Sarah, we can pave the way for future generations who will surely be comforted for their pursuit of righteousness. Our congregations will be blessed and thrive if we continue to seek the Lord. Even in the midst of a hectic society, tiny acorns can sprout and grow into strong oaks.
Lord of Zion, look upon us with compassion, and teach us to focus on you. Help us to recall the examples set before us by Abraham, Sarah, and others who made you a priority in their lives. Make us a blessing to someone today. Amen.
Go with God.