Friday, July 06, 2007

Isaiah, Hezekiah, and ABrandNewDay-ah

"If we come expecting God, we will meet Him and be changed by the encounter." Jason Miller, "Illumination" sermon 7/5/07

patterns, structure, and routine
they can comfort like a favorite blankey
or torture like a dripping faucet
provide that coming-home safety
or that punchclock, cubicle monotony
our morning quiet time has not been so quiet lately
reading Your word like a novel
as a New year's resolution is proving tougher than I thought
the shiny cover of the Daily Chronological Bible
now worn with white creases like dried skin
my rose-colored glasses make me wince
as I read of the war, bloodshed, and the violent cycle of Isreal
But this morning I took a moment
A moment to call You near
like an over-the-shoulder tutor whispering new insights
with occasional pats on the back
like scratch n sniff stickers back when pigtails were cool
after trudging through the prophets like mud to my knees
like some pouting child in time out,
listening with my arms folded to the promises of destruction
wrath, wailing,weeping, gnashing of teeth,and sackcloth
but today You reminded me in that gentle tutor voice
that the darkness of conflict tends to illuminate the light of victory
my arms felt like feathers and floated toward the pages
to let my fingers trace new meaning
and Isaiah stepped in with the ultimate preview
"a shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse . ..
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes...
but with righteousness he will judge the needy"
fingers dance through the pages, light on their tips with anticipation
just then Hezekiah stepped in to break the cycle of royal corruption
"He removed the high places and smashed the sacred stones...
There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah ...
He held fast to the Lord and did not cease to follow him..."
my arms shoot up for a touchdown sign!
and I'm reminded why I should never do my quiet time in public . . .
too risky
so risky I just might look forward to it
so from now on
I will come to meet You
like a child's Christmas Eve,
dusk on the fourth of July,
Price is Right door #3,
or better yet
an opportunity to be near You

"The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as men rejoice when dividing the plunder. For as in the day of Midian's defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor. Every warrior's boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:2-7

" He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father David had done. He removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. (It was called Nehushtan.) Hezekiah trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him. He held fast to the LORD and did not cease to follow him; he kept the commands the LORD had given Moses.And the LORD was with him; he was successful in whatever he undertook. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him." 2 Kings 18:3-7

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