Kirkepiscatoid

Random and not so random musings from a 5th generation NE Missourian who became a 1st generation Episcopalian. Let the good times roll!

This week’s assignment: Isaiah 50

vv. 1-3 God confronts Zion

Downtrodden Israel feels like the bastard red-headed stepchild. I can understand that. We all have times we ask “Where was God when (fill in the blank with some awful thing that happened in your life).” But God is asserting that he has not deserted Israel (or us). He’s saying “Show me where I divorced you from your motherland. See, you can’t produce a document. That’s because I did NOT desert you. You separated yourself from ME.”

And really, that’s what happens with us, too. We separate ourselves from God with our guilt and our feelings of unworthiness and our fears. We do our own version of “why did you forsake me, God?” and we were never forsaken at all. We went and put ourselves in the corner and then cry and holler that God “left us.”

I know when I feel forsaken by the world, I tend to also feel forsaken by God, although deep within my heart I know that’s not true. Sometimes I have to kick myself to remind me that God has been with me all along, it’s just that I went and wallowed in that pit of despair and self-pity that I fall into sometimes. I need to remind myself that these are the most important times for me to work at feeling my connection with God, bare my soul, cry out for him. I ought to know better—when I have one of my “Old Testament” fits of hollering at God and physically writhing with my pain, I actually DO feel his presence. Yet when I curl up in the corner and turn my back quietly on him and sulk I DON’T feel his presence. I should remember that. Even when I’m mad and yell at God I can feel him there.

vv. 4-9 The Servant’s Song

Although the servant listens to God, the world doesn’t pay much heed to the servant. They beat the snot out of him, pull his beard hairs (literally or figuratively), spit on him, etc. but he “sets his face” (just like Jesus “set his face” on the way to Jerusalem to his destiny at the cross), and knows that despite this, God is with him, and he will endure. He feels he (and God) can outlast his adversaries.

In a historical sense, I’m sure some of the exiled Jews, by then, had fairly comfortable lives in Babylon. Why would they want to go back to the wreck that was Jerusalem?

I think about my 20some years as a “lone wolf Christian”. I had walked away from the Missouri Synod Lutherans b/c of their inability to be inclusive regarding women in the Church and their pressure to vote Republican. I really didn’t have a bad life “in exile”. I read the Bible, studied it, prayed to a fair degree, and expanded my knowledge of Scripture. My Babylon wasn’t all that bad. I had no real desire to leave it. Yeah, I felt I was missing some things, but not enough to risk all the pain I had endured in a church community. I fully planned on being an exiled Christian the rest of my life. But then I walked into Trinity and that old girl started messing with my head.

Somehow, my own “servant song” started to appear. At first it was simply, “You like being here, don’tcha? Feels pretty nice, doesn’t it? So stay a while.”

Then “My servant song” started singing, “Fix my toilet. Fix the cracks on my wall. My sidewalk could use some work. How about a little varnish and polyurethane on my pews?” Some of my friends said, “You took off work for 2 weeks to do WHAT?” Okay, so it’s not exactly like getting one’s beard pulled out and being spit upon, but it certainly made some of my friends look at me like I was a little goofy. But God uses what God knows will get to someone. My ears were pretty closed, but my hands were open. God convinced me to put my hands all over the building, and I “saw” and “heard” with them, and I was not rebellious. God knew it was a waste of time to concentrate on my ears with their big “B.S. Filters” on them. He knew it was not my eyes that were the ticket to getting back closer to him. He knew that the things I really trust are the things I can touch and take apart with my hands and put back together again.

Because God and I can touch each other through the old girl Trinity, I managed to leave my exile in Babylon, and let God take me by the hand and lead me to my own trip to Jerusalem. Wow! That’s a true miracle, really.

vv 10-11: Walking in Darkness, Yet Trusting in God’s Light

The servant is saying that the people of Israel are better off walking around in the dark trusting in God than they are stirring up their own little firestorms, in a way. Good tag team with John 3:8: “The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

We don’t know where the Holy Spirit got some idea for us. We don’t know where that idea will take us. But we can choose to stand in her breeze.

I am slowly learning to stand out in the breeze of the Holy Spirit instead of running in the house and slamming the door shut. This used to be a very scary concept for me; it is becoming less so. I never liked it at first b/c I don’t like surprises and I don’t like not knowing all the “wheres” and “whys” of things. But in retrospect, I have been ok with the places the Holy Spirit takes me, so I am starting to trust that a little more (not a lot, just a little.)

Anyway, that is my blurb for week 2!

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Kirksville, Missouri, United States
I'm a longtime area resident of that quirky and wonderful place called Kirksville, MO and am wondering what God has hiding round the next corner in my life.

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