Wednesday, November 4, 2015

New eyes, new world, new life

One of my favorite prayers is found in the Daily Office where it is called Canticle 10, the Second Song of Isaiah. (BCP, 86) This canticle (which means: sung biblical text) is taken from Isaiah 55:6-11. It’s a favorite of mine because it is a daily reminder to me of the magnificence of God and our proper place in relationship to God:

“Seek the Lord while he wills to be found; call upon him when he draws near. Let the wicked forsake their ways and the evil ones their thoughts; And let them turn to the Lord, and he will have compassion, and to our God, for he will richly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. or as rain and snow fall from the heavens and return not again, but water the earth, bringing forth life and giving growth, seed for sowing and bread for eating, So is my word that goes forth from my mouth; it will not return to me empty; but it will accomplish that which I have purposed, and prosper in that for which I sent it.”

The following poem, entitled “Allow,” by Danna Faulds reflects this message from Isaiah well:

There is no controlling life.
Try corralling a lightning bolt,
containing a tornado. Dam a
stream and it will create a new
channel. Resist, and the tide
will sweep you off your feet.
Allow, and grace will carry
you to higher ground. The only
safety lies in letting it all in –
the wild and the weak; fear,
fantasies, failures and success.
When loss rips off the doors of
the heart, or sadness veils your
vision with despair, practice
becomes simply bearing the truth.
In the choice to let go of your
known way of being, the whole
world is revealed to your new eyes.

New eyes, new world, new life. For some of us, the changes we have and are experiencing in our common life have been uncomfortable. For others these experiences have been renewing to their faith and their commitment to our parish family. Most of us probably experience a bit of both. That’s typical. It’s life – and we are blessed to have an abundance of it.

When we think about ourselves as a community of faith, remembering our past and imagining our future, any limits we encounter are probably those we impose on ourselves. Aware of our limitations as a community, and individually as members of it, we are assured in the message from Isaiah that we are God’s people, therefore, we don’t rely on ourselves. We rely on God and allow God, whose ways and thoughts are higher than ours, to guide us forward. Trusting in God’s steadfast love, compassion, and mercy for us and for the whole creation, we can be certain that we will not return to God empty, but will accomplish the purpose God has for us.

No comments: