Go out in joy to be led back in peace

Sunset July 9, 2014

Sunset July 9, 2014

The picture above was taken as I left Eureka on Wednesday evening. We have a haze in the air because of wild fires in Canada, at least that is what we are being told by the weather and news people in the area. Below is the article that I wrote for the local paper. The ministers in the community are each assigned a week to contribute, and this was my week. The lectionary had Isaiah 55 as one of the alternate readings. I decided to use it in the article. All of the scripture is taken from the New Revised Standard Version. Hope you enjoy!!

Just as June was a wonderfully lush month that left us with tall grass and plenty of biting bugs, July has started with a bit more warmth and promise of days that will dry the grasses and ripen the crops. For all of God’s goodness to us we can be thankful, but rain is not without the worry about storm damage to crops and homes and other property. The sunshine also bears a concern of its own for heat that is above and beyond what can be handled by human and animal alike.

Yet for all that we are given, and for all that we are asked, God promises to be with us. In Isaiah 55, God invites us to life in abundance. In verse 1, 10 and 11,God speaks of the same living waters that Jesus mentioned when he met the Samaritan woman at the well. “Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters…For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there until they have watered the earth…so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth.” Jesus promises to quench not just our thirst for cooling waters or hunger for physical food; he also offers us spiritual nourishment, and for that we need to be more than just thankful. We need to be ravenous for the spiritual nourishment that we gain from the scriptures both in times of hardship and when the road seems to be on a level plane or downhill both ways.

When we look to God during the good times, it is much easier to find comfort in his arms when things aren’t so good. When we walk with God on a daily basis, we grow in Christian maturity through nourishment from God, and we are able to take on the tasks that God gives us whether being the hand that helps a neighbor, the smile that cheers the down trodden or the one who offers a glass of cool water to a parched soul. God has much for us to do whether it be right in our own backyard or across the globe. We just need to be open to the challenges and ready for the spirit to move us.

What we need mostly is to keep our ears open to hear the voice of an enthusiastic God who is still speaking to us. Isaiah 55:12 “For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace, the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”

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