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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Thursday, December 3, 2020  

Today’s Scripture Reading  |  Isaiah 64:1–9

O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence—as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil—to make your name known to your adversaries, so that the nations might tremble at your presence! When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence. From ages past no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who works for those who wait for him. You meet those who gladly do right, those who remember you in your ways. But you were angry, and we sinned; because you hid yourself we transgressed.

We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. There is no one who calls on your name, or attempts to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity. Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. Do not be exceedingly angry, O Lord, and do not remember iniquity forever. Now consider, we are all your people. (NRSV)

I pray, I give thanks, and I often sing praises to the glory that is God our creator. Yet rarely do I sit and speak with God. The actions I take are passive, and my relationship with God is almost an afterthought. I get so caught up in the buzz that is everyday life I forget to take the time to listen to what the Lord has to say in response to all my praying and hymn singing.

To paraphrase philosopher Martin Buber, to be in a relationship with God means the Almighty cannot just be spoken of but spoken to. God is always active in our lives, yet it is up to us to act in relation to the Lord. I know it is a little cliché to say, but Isaiah is the prophet I turn to when I feel I have forgotten how to speak with our Lord. Isaiah models how to actively speak with God. The prophet is not afraid to be honest and forthright with their situation and their relationship to the Almighty. While there praise and adoration are being made for the good works of the Lord, there are also truths being laid bare.

In reading and reflecting on this text I feel I have seen that the Lord’s hands are big enough to hold all of my questions. I am reminded that despite my shortcomings I can still sit and speak with the Lord and the Lord will listen.

Loving God who brings peace to this world and always turns their ear to listen, I give thanks to you. Grant me the strength to act and the grace to wait for your answer. Pour out your love on me and make my heart clean so that I can love you more fully. Grant me the wisdom to be forthright and honest with my station in life. Grant me peace. Amen.

Written by Quantisha Mason, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

Reflection and prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church

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