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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Today’s Reading | Isaiah 25:1–9

O Lord, you are my God;
    I will exalt you, I will praise your name;
for you have done wonderful things,
    plans formed of old, faithful and sure.
For you have made the city a heap,
    the fortified city a ruin;
the palace of aliens is a city no more,
    it will never be rebuilt.
Therefore strong peoples will glorify you;
    cities of ruthless nations will fear you.
For you have been a refuge to the poor,
    a refuge to the needy in their distress,
    a shelter from the rainstorm and a shade from the heat.
When the blast of the ruthless was like a winter rainstorm,
    the noise of aliens like heat in a dry place,
you subdued the heat with the shade of clouds;
    the song of the ruthless was stilled.

On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples
    a feast of rich food, a feast of well-matured wines,
    of rich food filled with marrow, of well-matured wines strained clear.
And he will destroy on this mountain
    the shroud that is cast over all peoples,
    the sheet that is spread over all nations;
he will swallow up death for ever.
Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces,
    and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth,
    for the Lord has spoken.
It will be said on that day,
    Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us.
 This is the Lord for whom we have waited;
 let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation. (NRSV)

It’s been a hard winter. And not just because of the weather.

And now it’s looking to be a hard spring.

Sometimes I just need to read about the saving power of God. I need to know that in my personal troubles, when I feel small and weak and easily overcome, or burning with anger and ready to react, I can turn to God for refuge, “a refuge for the needy in their distress, a shelter from the rainstorm and a shade from the heat.”

And, in the face of those larger troubles that tear at my heart, that tear at our bonds to each other and to the earth—when the powerless are tread upon, our institutions and systems of governance codify suffering, neighbor mistrusts neighbor ,and our fragile earth is threatened—I need to know of God’s power to save us all, all peoples, all nations, all faces, all the earth. That someday the groaning of creation will be relieved and a new world will emerge, the lion shall lie down with the lamb, and the Lord for whom we wait will rest her hand upon us.

I need to know this.

O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name. Grant me eyes to see your hand at work and ears to hear your song, since I am weak and in need of sustenance. And thanks be to your saving Word, collected and passed on in the scriptures, ever-ready to provide relief when my eyes and my ears are numb to your love in the world. Amen.

Written by Anne Ellis, Program Manager for Congregational Life

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