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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Today’s Reading | Isaiah 41:17–20

When the poor and needy seek water,
     and there is none,
     and their tongue is parched with thirst,
I the Lord will answer them,
     I the God of Israel will not forsake them.
I will open rivers on the bare heights,
     and fountains in the midst of the valleys;
I will make the wilderness a pool of water,
     and the dry land springs of water.
I will put in the wilderness the cedar,
     the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive;
I will set in the desert the cypress,
     the plane and the pine together,
so that all may see and know,
     all may consider and understand,
that the hand of the Lord has done this,
     the Holy One of Israel has created it. (NRSV)


Water is such a powerful symbol for the creative activity of God in the world. The symbol of water resonates powerfully with our fundamental needs as living creatures. As the prophet Isaiah knows, when we seek water and there is none, our tongues are parched with thirst. We know that without water, nothing, including ourselves, can be born and grow.

Faith in God means that we understand God to be the ultimate source of life. God is the spring from which all life flows. God’s creative power makes all things possible. As the prophet Isaiah writes, God can make even rivers to open on the peaks of mountains and fountains to originate in the deep valley. God’s creative power surpasses what we expect from nature so that even water can flow from rock.

There are hard places in our lives, places from which we think no good could spring forth. And yet our faith in God gives us hope that new life is possible.


Plant in me a soft heart, O God, and keep it supple, so that through my heart, you might continue your creative work in this world. Amen.

Written by Joyce Shin,
Associate Pastor for Congregational Life

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