Isaiah 45:6c-8, 21c-25, December 15, 2021

Reading

I am the LORD, there is no other;
I form the light, and create the darkness,
I make well-being and create woe;
I, the LORD, do all these things.
Let justice descend, O heavens, like dew from above,
like gentle rain let the skies drop it down.
Let the earth open and salvation bud forth;
let justice also spring up!
I, the LORD, have created this.

For thus says the LORD,
The creator of the heavens,
who is God,
The designer and maker of the earth
who established it,
Not creating it to be a waste,
but designing it be lived in:
I am the LORD, and there is no other.

Who announced this from the beginning
and foretold it from of old?
Was it not I, the LORD,
besides whom there is no other God?
There is no just and saving God but me.

Turn to me and be safe,
all you ends of the earth,
for I am God; there is no other!
By myself I swear,
uttering my just decree
and my unalterable word:
To me every knee shall bend;
by me every tongue shall swear,
Saying, “Only in the LORD
are just deeds and power.
Before him in shame shall come
all who vent their anger against him.
In the LORD shall be the vindication and the glory
of all the descendants of Israel.”

Reflection:  

During the time of the prophet Isaiah, many individuals worshipped false gods:  the stars, the moon, animals, the golden calf, or magic to name a few.  The people of Israel were different, they worshipped one God who ruled over all of creation, who loved them unconditionally, but they too struggled with idolatry.    Isaiah was calling these people in today’s reading back into right relationship with the God of Israel.  Today, when we look back at the time of the prophet Isaiah, we imagine these people being foolish, naïve, mentally ill, or gullible to have placed their hope of eternal life on such finite objects.   But if one were to examine society today many individuals idolize:  money, power, possessions, prestige, fame, instant pleasure, and even longing to be a celebrity or an influencer on social media.    Although providing some type of limited gratification, these modern idols are not equipped to ultimately satisfy the longing on the human heart and soul.  The longing continues throughout our life until we allow the unconditional love, peace, and joy of God to satisfy our heart and soul.  It seems worshipping a false god is easier because it is quantifiable and tangibleFor the most part, you can reach out and touch it.  The eternal aspects of God: peace, love, and joy; although actual are transcendent and much more difficult to quantify.  We are invited to examine what is holding us back in terms of being in a right relationship with God, in a sense, what are the false gods in our lives.  Having examined that, we ask Jesus daily to fill our heart with his gentle peace, hope, love, and joy.