God Pause for Monday, 9/29/2014

Luther Seminary God Pause

Monday, 9/29/2014 Reading: Isaiah 5:1-7

Somewhere I learned that Isaiah, one of the ancient prophetic voices, challenged hearers into a self-reflective, even self-judging response. Even so, I was bothered by the suggestion in verses five and six that God would remove protection from God's own chosen people resulting in "devouring and trampling down."

How could God's disappointment in Israel's failure to live faithfully in ways of justice and righteousness end that way? What about promises and covenants? Is it possible that God's word to Israel was their reminder that God's love is not an all or nothing proposition, but simply one of unending love for all people?

This text also invites the church today to wonder what walls or hedges we hide behind and what boundaries God is removing, so that our lives as God's people may embody righteousness and justice in our relationships with others in our own neighborhoods.

Gracious and loving God, show us today and each day where and when we need to step out in faith. Help us to embody righteousness and justice in all our relationships, the comfortable ones and the more uncomfortable ones. Amen.>

Julianne Barlow (Koivisto) Assistant to the Bishop for Mission, Synod of Alberta and the Territories, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada Calgary, Alberta Doctor of Ministry, 2012

Isaiah 5:1-7 (NRSV)

1 Let me sing for my beloved my love-song concerning his vineyard: My beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile hill. 2 He dug it and cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vines; he built a watchtower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it; he expected it to yield grapes, but it yielded wild grapes. 3 And now, inhabitants of Jerusalem and people of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard. 4 What more was there to do for my vineyard that I have not done in it? When I expected it to yield grapes, why did it yield wild grapes? 5 And now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard. I will remove its hedge, and it shall be devoured; I will break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down. 6 I will make it a waste; it shall not be pruned or hoed, and it shall be overgrown with briers and thorns; I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. 7 For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the people of Judah are his pleasant planting; he expected justice, but saw bloodshed; righteousness, but heard a cry!

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