Who Started It!
64 O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence— 2 as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil—to make your name known to your adversaries, so that the nations might tremble at your presence! 3 When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect, you came down; the mountains quaked at your presence. 4 From ages past no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you,
who works for those who wait for him. 5 You meet those who gladly do right, those who remember you in your ways. But you were angry, and we sinned; because you hid yourself we transgressed. 6 We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. 7 There is no one who calls on your name or attempts to take hold of you, for you have hidden your face from us and have delivered[ us into the hand of our iniquity. 8 Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. 9 Do not be exceedingly angry, O Lord, and do not remember iniquity forever. Now consider, we are ALL your people.
When I was a girl, younger than my two brothers, they were constantly fighting one another. One of them even put on heavy boots and threatened to stomp the other one to death when he caught him. I remember one or the other whining to my parents, “He started it!” Neither of my brothers are particularly religious but long gone are those battles of old. My brothers aren't exactly like lions lying down with lambs but time has healed their sibling rivalry. The good news now many years later, one living in Australia and the other in England, is that they are close friends and support one another and love one another.
This Lectionary reading from Isaiah for the first Sunday of Advent got my attention because it is such a cry for help, for God to forgive the sins that these ancient people believed were to blame for their woes. They were distraught. They wanted and needed a power greater than themselves. They needed light in their darkness.
Are we not also distraught when we turn on the news and see and hear about the terrible wars. When it comes to Hamas and Israel, we wonder who started it, but what matters is how they (and we) are to find peace with one another and recognize that we are all deserving human beings.
We need the fount of blessing who is Jesus to lead us and mold us into strong, kind, forgiving brothers and sisters who give refreshment for all others. All!
May the mysterious process of God mold us into unflawed pots that hold refreshment for All!
We need the Good News that Jesus brings:
Listen to Come Thy Fount sung by Salt of the Sound: