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Monday, June 20, 2022
Today’s Scripture Reading | Isaiah 65:1–9
I was ready to be sought out by those who did not ask,
to be found by those who did not seek me.
I said, “Here I am, here I am,”
to a nation that did not call on my name.
I held out my hands all day long
to a rebellious people,
who walk in a way that is not good,
following their own devices;
a people who provoke me
to my face continually,
sacrificing in gardens
and offering incense on bricks;
who sit inside tombs
and spend the night in secret places;
who eat the flesh of pigs,
with broth of abominable things in their vessels;
who say, “Keep to yourself;
do not come near me, for I am too holy for you.”
These are a smoke in my nostrils,
a fire that burns all day long.
See, it is written before me:
I will not keep silent, but I will repay;
I will indeed repay into their laps
their iniquities and their ancestors’ iniquities together,
says the Lord;
because they offered incense on the mountains
and reviled me on the hills,
I will measure into their laps
full payment for their actions.
Thus says the Lord:
As the wine is found in the cluster,
and they say, “Do not destroy it,
for there is a blessing in it,”
so I will do for my servants’ sake
and not destroy them all.
I will bring forth descendants from Jacob
and from Judah inheritors of my mountains;
my chosen shall inherit it,
and my servants shall settle there. (NRSV)
Vulnerable is not a word I would readily use to describe God. And yet this passage begins with a depiction of just that. God is recounting the multiple ways in which God has reached out to and waited for people to enter into a relationship with him, and the multitude of ways they have rejected those invitations.
Vulnerability is uncomfortable because it opens the door for rejection. But without the possibility of rejection, there’s not the possibility for a deeper connection. By not telling that girl you like her, you avoid rejection that could come from her not feeling the same way—but you also avoid the love, laughter, and memories that are possible if she does.
When a friend asks how you’re doing, you can avoid the possibility of their reaction being judgmental or dismissive by not answering honestly—but you also avoid the chance to identify a shared experience or struggle that could deepen your friendship.
Being vulnerable means taking a risk. God took a risk in giving people free will and allowing them to make the choice to “walk in a way that is not good, following their own devices.” God gave us the opportunity to reject him, and as much as I don’t like to admit it, I know there are times when I reject God. I do it when I’m too busy for worship on Sunday mornings, when I’m too tired to pray, and when I willfully ignore what God’s calling me to do.
Loving God, help me see opportunities to be vulnerable and strengthen my connection with those around me. Help me be kind when people are vulnerable with me. And help me continuously accept your invitation to deepen my relationship with you. Amen.
Written by Nicole Spirgen, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church
Reflection and prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church
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