In this passage the writer petitions for restoration and guidance from God. It is a cry to God for understanding, compassion, tolerance, and supervision. The writer seeks liberation from shame and fear.
Praying for God’s forgiveness and guidance involves being open and honest with God and ourselves in a way that leads to our emancipation. Being totally exposed and unafraid of the intimacy that characterizes our relationship with an all-knowing and all-loving Creator God is the attitude that pervades Isaiah’s soul and spirit.
Admitting our faults and the places we have erred requires humility and vulnerability. We can “seek the Lord while he may be found.” Yet as the writer says, it is only when we are willing to be mindful of God’s mercy, justice, and steadfast love that we can we be emboldened to seek God again and again. This type of praxis is what a new and vibrant relationship with God is all about.
This Lenten season reminds us that by refocusing on prayer and fasting we can reexamine the things within us that bind us and prevent us from seeking God. As we acknowledge those forces in our lives that block God out, we will experience a revitalization of our lives. This is the new relationship of higher thoughts and higher ways.
Let us be animated by God’s Holy Spirit. Let us vulnerably seek God as we are then liberated from the expectations of our “enemies” and ourselves.
Forgiving God, make us willing to seek you in truth and be emancipated by your all-encompassing love. Amen.
In the midst of Lent, when many might be giving up a certain food that they love, we read about feasting. The focus is not on physical feasting, but on feasting as a metaphor for communing with God. Isaiah describes food and drink that one cannot buy with money, for it comes freely from the Lord. The psalmist describes the state of his soul as being hungry and thirsty. Only meditating on God’s faithfulness nourishes his soul at the deepest level. Physical food is momentary, but spiritual nourishment endures. In First Corinthians, Paul appeals to this imagery. Although the ancients experience this spiritual nourishment, some pursue physical pleasure and stray into idolatry and immorality. Partaking in this nourishment should cause us in turn to produce spiritual fruit, as Jesus admonishes his listeners.
Read Isaiah 55:1-9. When has God’s grace inverted your expectations?
Read Psalm 63:1-8. As you mature in faith, what new questions about God do you ask?
Read 1 Corinthians 10:1-13. Think of a time you have faced great temptation. How did God help you endure it?
Read Luke 13:1-9. For what do you need to repent?
Respond by posting a prayer.
This season, Whitney R. Simpson has given us the gift we must open: a clear, accessible invitation to connect with the divine spark that is within us. This is the best present: being present for Jesus’ birth, God made human.”
Learn more about our newest Advent resource, Fully Human, Fully Divine here.