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Wednesday Wondering - July 3, 2024

Scripture

Isaiah 58: 9 – 11 

9    Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer;

    you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am.

    If you remove the yoke from among you,

    the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil,

10    if you offer your food to the hungry

    and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,

    then your light shall rise in the darkness

    and your gloom be like the noonday.

11    The LORD will guide you continually,

    and satisfy your needs in parched places,

    and make your bones strong;

    and you shall be like a watered garden,

    like a spring of water,

    whose waters never fail.


Reflection

We have just finished celebrating Canada Day. It is a day when many celebrate the pride that they have in being Canadian, and the pride they have in our country. I also think that it is a time for some honest reflection about ourselves and our world. I have been wondering lately about the state of the world in which we live. It almost seems as if we are on a downward spiral these days. We know that things are challenging, but it is almost as if they are becoming more challenging. There are so many struggling and it seems as if those in power are only concerned about keeping that power and playing to the fears and prejudices of their bases. That leaves many marginalized to become even more marginalized. Yet that seems to be where we are right now. What are we to do?


I chose this reading from Isaiah because it gives some hope in the midst of the challenges of the world. In this particular section of Isaiah the prophet is addressing a community that finds itself in the midst of conflict. The people of Israel have forgotten the promises that they had made to God and were not fulfilling those promises. Isaiah is reminding them of who they are supposed to be and although this scripture was written almost 700 years before the birth of Jesus we, 2700 years later, still need to hear these words. How often in our world today has there been the pointing of fingers and the speaking of evil? One just has to look at the news or social media and we see many who immediately point the finger at others, speaking evil, hurtful things about those with whom they disagree. 


Not only is there finger pointing and in many ways scapegoating, where all of society’s problems, the world’s problems, are blamed on an already marginalized, identifiable group, but people are always blaming others for the problems we are facing. Add to this the world’s call that everything needs to be about “me.” This leaves the world in a state of disconnect and brokenness. That does not even begin to recognize the number of people in this world who find themselves lost, alone, and hungry. Isaiah spoke to the people about a light rising in the darkness, we are called, as Christians, to be that light in the darkness, to be the light which arises in the  midst of these challenging times.


We are called to follow God so that we can become those that bring water to the parched places of the world. Isaiah was challenging the people of this time to do something new, to repair that which separated people from each other and from God, to be repairers of the breach and the call echoes through the ages to us today. This is the time, as we each journey in our faith, walking with Jesus, that we begin to embody our faith in our actions and in doing do we become those who repair the broken places in our own lives and in the lives of those around us. Let us find a new way of being community, where we can bring water to parched lives, both our own and those in the world around us. This is the work of Christ, this is holy work, and it is work that we are called to each and every day. 


I wonder if we will journey with God on a journey to repair our lives and the world, will we answer as was answered in Isaiah 6: 8 “8Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send me!”  One of my favourite hymn in Voices United is number 509 “I, the Lord of Sea and Sky” which speaks to me today deeply “I, the Lord of sea and sky, I have heard my people cry. All who dwell in deepest sin my hand will save. I who made the stars of night, I will make their darkness bright. Who will bear my light to them? Whom shall I send?” Who shall God send to repair the brokenness of our lives and the world? Will it be you?


Prayer

Here I am Lord. Is it I Lord? Loving God help me to hear you call to me to be your light bearer in the world. Lead me in the holy work of repairing the brokenness of not only my own life but also the world around me. You know that there is so much need, help me to rely on your strength, your love, your mercy, and your compassion as we do this work together. We pray in name of the one with whom we walk, your son Jesus. Amen


Peace and blessings,


Rev. Patrick Woodbeck

Minister

Gordon-King Memorial United (The Big Red Church)/ Grey Street United

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