could you define “will”?

9 12 2010

Isaiah 35 promises many things-things that are not altogether bad. In fact
they are community-building, wilderness-enduring, healthy and faith-deepening
things. And yet the word “will” accompanies these promises so much, that if I
were alive back then, I’d be saying, “Define WILL… and let me know WHEN.”
Those of us who have spent many years waiting for something know how hard it can be to hope, when what we are waiting for doesn’t happen yet.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, life doesn’t always work like that. We don’t know
when, we don’t get to define “will”—at least not when it comes to Biblical
promises. We don’t always get it, or, if we do, we don’t understand it. Waiting is

the "patient" dog waiting for someone to play with her

Some promises in Isaiah 35 have come true in the life and ministry of Jesus
Christ. Literally and figuratively. Light into the darkness, the blind see, miracles
happened, the power of sin was conquered, rejoicing came to the wilderness.
Even so, at times the wilderness stinks. For instance, when someone says, “It
will get better…” or… “Someday you WILL see the good in all this waiting
period.” Whatever. That may be true. But in the meantime, waiting is still hard.

I suspect we’re all waiting, on some level. My good friend Karen says that
everybody is waiting for something. Whatever we are waiting for, may we be
graced with the strength to find joy in the wait. We may not know WHEN our
waiting season WILL be finished… but help us, Lord, to see you in it. And to find
joy in this time.

leader for the week

30 11 2010

leader for the week

This Sunday’s Isaiah text is chapter 11:1-10. The kingdom that seems impossible, where the lions don’t eat the lambs and other strange mixed company groups survive and get along.

And in verse 6, Isaiah prophesies that “a little child shall lead them.”

This morning, we had a little child very excited to lead. Little does she know how challenging leadership can be, how much of a privilege, and also how disappointing at times. For now, Kajsa’s meaning of leadership is bringing snack to preschool for one week, and being the leader at school. She’s so excited she can hardly stand it.

She has a lot to learn about leadership.

But so do we all. If we could all learn a little of the excitement and joy of children, and apply that to the areas we lead in life, maybe the prophesied kingdom in Isaiah could begin to come about more quickly?

in the light

30 11 2010

“O house of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the Lord.” (Isaiah 2:5).

Yesterday, Jim’s parents, Kajsa, Jim and I went to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Pretty neat. It should come as no

let us walk in the light of the LORD

surprise that I loved all the Christmas lights. But I really loved the light pictured here: the Moravian star. Beautiful.

We had walked past (and under) this star earlier in the evening, before going to see the Putz at Central Moravian Church. And walking back towards the car, we passed this star again–the bookstore was closed at this point, though. So the light stood out more, because it was both darker outside and inside the book shop.

Christ, the light of the world, came to shine his light, and the light of God’s love, upon the world filled with darkness. How are we walking in the light, helping to reflect God’s love and light to people around us? How can our light be brighter? Not for the sake of being beautiful, but for the sake of bringing the light of Christ to the world around us?

Whose job is it?

29 11 2010

The Old Testament text for this past Sunday (first Sunday of Advent) was Isaiah 2:1-5. Verse 4 is one of my favorite verses in the whole Bible…. Isaiah prophesies about a future kingdom… “He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

Disputes settled. (international and national?)

Swords into plowshares

Swords beat into plowshares.

Spears beat into pruning hooks.

Nations not at war… not even training for war. Wow. What a dream.

Obviously we’re far off from that dream. We could wait around for someone else to do the work. We could complain about those who, in our opinions, aren’t doing a good job of bringing about this dream. We could also sit and wait for Christ’s return, so the kingdom would come about through Christ.

But maybe, just maybe, we need to become the peacemakers. Maybe we need to be transforming our communication styles, our actions, our mindsets and our attitudes…. And be the ones who work together toward the world we’d like to live in.