Tuesdevo: It Was God!

“Swords into plowshares” … That’s the vision of Isaiah, the idealistic prophet of ancient Israel.  Isaiah seems to have easily maneuvered between human responsibility and divine providence.  He wasn’t hampered by best-selling authors bent on demonstrating the foolishness of faith in a supreme being.  Nor was he beholden to a faith that disregarded or downplayed the full measure of human effort required.  “Faith” doesn’t negate science, any more than science compromises spirituality.

Isaiah believed that his people faced the problems of their time because they had sinned.  And to have “sinned” meant they had fallen short of an expectation. “Sin” requires several things:God Did It T-Shirt

  1. First, it requires a lofty ideal.  There has to be something holy / noble we are aiming at.
  2. Second, the ideal has to be attainable.
  3. Third, sin occurs because of some action or inaction on our part that keeps the ideal from becoming a reality.

As we make our way through Advent at First UMC Burlington, Isaiah is challenging us to believe in and work for peace, justice, healing.  On this Tuesday morning, the Liturgy of the Hours from the Roman Catholic Church offers us a text from Isaiah 26:12:

Lord, you established peace for us; all we have accomplished you have done for us.

Note how easily the prophet moves between what has been established for us, and what we have accomplished.  These two realities are not competitors; they are accomplices, working in harmony to bring about what we most deeply yearn for and what Life is constantly offering us.

May you be an accomplice today, working in harmony with the Spirit, bringing about peace, justice, healing.

Mark Demers

Want to talk about sex, politics, spirituality? So do I. I grew up in a religious home in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Our country was reeling from assassinations and the devastation of the Viet Nam War. Looking for something beautiful, I got a degree in music, married the love of my life and had children. Looking for God, I then went to seminary. Looking for something that might transform the world, I became a local church pastor. Now, I’m always looking for people who want to talk about important things. I cherish conversations with emerging leaders, people who are antsy to try an idea they believe would change the world for the better. I’d would love to hear from you.