Today’s Bible reading
“Your New Moon feasts and your appointed festivals
I hate with all my being.
They have become a burden to me;
I am weary of bearing them.
When you spread out your hands in prayer,
I hide my eyes from you;
even when you offer many prayers,
I am not listening.
Your hands are full of blood!” — from Isaiah 1
More thoughts for meditation
Me: God, why do you have to be like that?
Me: We worked really hard on those festivals. They were for you.
God: Your life together is not a kindergarten craft project. I made it clear what I wanted from you, and you gave me this?! Don’t tell me that was for me.
Me: But, but, it was for you. We made it.
God: And I made you. Is unmaking you the only thing I can do?
Me: This is the best we can do, take it, please.
Could God be so cold as this? That depends, is Isaiah just overreacting? The prophets did not withhold their harsh criticism and they were widely received as ones who spoke the very words of God. The people who heard Isaiah’s prophecy did not wonder whether God was serious or not. They repented and changed; or ignored the prophets, persisting in their disobedience and reaping their just rewards.
God does not save us from ourselves if we refuse to change. God invites us into a new way of life. God’s ways are not our ways and that is the point. Our ways inevitably cover our hands in blood. God does not test our capacity to conform to arbitrary standards. God crafts a new way of living — a communal understanding of our destiny, a reason to share from the abundance of creation, and a love that binds us all together in the shared trust of a shared parent.
Suggestions for Action
Consider the alternatives to your faithfulness. How often do you forget who you are and do things you would never do? Here’s another chance to repent. Choose God’s way again today, right now. A very reliable way to not be bogged down in your turning back is to confess out loud to a trusted Christian friend.