Lord, I rejoice that today is your day and we celebrate your act of creation in the beginning of time. Thank you that this day marks the resurrection of Jesus from the dead and we rejoice that in that event he overcame the powers of evil. Thank you that the Holy Spirit was given to the disciples on this first day. I offer praise in Jesus – AMEN.
I pray today Lord for those people who find that they can no longer drive a motor vehicle and have to dispose of it. Help them to cope with the inconvenience of having to depend on other people all the time. Help those near to them to understand the regret and sense of loss they feel. I ask it in the name of Jesus Christ – AMEN.
Lord, I pray today for all those people who will have to have a pet they have loved put down. Grant that they will control their emotions and know that they are being kind. Help them to recover from the upset they will feel and move forward with many things and thoughts to occupy their minds. I ask it in Jesus Christ’s name – AMEN.
“This is what the Lord says: ‘Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand’”.
Isa 56:1 NIV
The life of the people of God has to be carried on during all the turbulence of historical and political developments. It does not exist in splendid isolation in some spiritual vacuum or retreat centre. And the men and women who are leaders of the people have to give guidance whilst they are busy on the job – and also in that hurly-burly busy-ness that crams in on everyone.
The scene depicted in these later chapters of Isaiah reflect the time when the first waves of Israelites had returned to Jerusalem. But not all the exiles went home straight away. Some remained in Babylon. And the blissful expectations of those who did return were tempered by the difficulties they came across. They were still not “free” – they were now under Persian rule which involved only a partial degree of self-rule. Still Isaiah had to “squeeze God in” so to speak. Some of God’s promises had been fulfilled but not all, and problems of a practical nature abounded. They are called to “maintain justice”.
It was not maintaining justice that had caused their ruin in the first place. God will not allow his people to specialise in a faith that bears no responsibility for the social justice of society in general. Pleasant and easy as it is to withdraw from involvement in the world, God requires his people to engage with the “real world” in order to effect his engagement with it – and to defend the weak and do “justly”.
This is still so today for Christian believers. God calls us to be in his world, “boots and all”.
Lord, help us to be your presence in the structures of the world.
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