July 12, 2020

Proper 10 2020

Passage: Isaiah 55:6-13

Seek the Lord while he wills to be found…

For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

This Scripture might be considered a Wisdom writing,

an invitation to dine at Wisdom’s table.

It’s about seeking

it’s about finding

it’s about God’s plans often over and against human plans or expectations.

But it is also, buried in these words which may sound familiar, as they are from Morning Prayer,

an invitation for repentance.

Seek the Lord while he wills to be found…

do we?

Sometimes it seems God does not want to be found,

but this Scripture uses words not only to seek, but to call, to return.

And a very serious reminder that God plans are often not what we either expect nor envision.

For my plans are not your plans, nor your ways my ways.

An invitation to wait…for God, for radical plans we do not comprehend

and also to repent for that which we do not seek, for our spiritual eyes are often shut.

God could very well be saying to the people then and now ‘Open your eyes and see what I have planned for you!’

But we are stuck in our own ways

we are blind to God

and we cannot ‘see’ what it is that God has planned.

It’s tough to envision what this Scripture sets forth especially in our time with death seeming all around, sickness comes on an unexpected day and turns into a national nightmare.

We don’t know how to call upon God because we are consumed with our own fragility and our definitive humanity.

But God’s plans are never empty;

God’s workings are never futile.

The invitation to know God’s plans is an invitation to deepen our spiritual lives, to stop living on the surface of what can be seen or understood.

Because even as death consumes us, as sickness and fear are all around

God still is gracious.

The promise is one of joy and peace, and even though we cannot even begin to wrap our minds and hearts around joy, never mind peace, this is God’s promise.

And as it was for Zion, so it is for us, for God’s word never returns empty, and God’s purposes are never in vain.

Times of darkness and uncertainty demand a time to wait as we struggle and strain to hear God’s word made new.

This is the time in our lives to seek God, to comprehend God’s purposes in our time.

And beloved, death is not God’s purpose, so do not say this time is God’s doing.

It is instead a loving and gracious bidding to seek God and God’s amazing, uncomprehending purposes on a deeper level than we ever have before

a radical period in our spiritual lives to hear, to seek, to wait, to pray, to repent, to grieve, to be with each other as we appeal for God’s presence and as we anticipate God’s word to become unveiled and known.

Joy and peace will come. We must pray, we must repent our lack, and we must wait. Amen.

Leave a Reply