Prayer for the day
Almighty God, my heavenly Father: I have sinned against you, through my own fault, in thought, and word, and deed, and in what I have left undone. For the sake of your Son our Lord Jesus Christ, forgive me all my offences; and grant that I may serve you in newness of life, to the glory of your Name. Amen.
Scripture for the day
Reading the book of Isaiah (or any of the prophetic books) can seem a bit daunting, and not a little bit depressing. The people of Israel have seriously grieved their God, and much of the book is dedicated to helping them understand the consequences of that grief (see “Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away, his hand is still upraised”).
The consequence of the sin of Israel is brutal, but is in keeping with how they have treated their God. Yet even in His anger and wrath, God is not finished with His people. God still offers them what must have seemed an impossibility in their situation: hope for the future. God says through Isaiah that life is not over, that His love for them has not run dry as it may seem. No, His love continues, and there will be something left after the discipline is enacted.
Paul is blessed to convey that hope to the rest of the world in his letter to the church in Ephesus. The hope that God promised to the children of Israel had come in the person of Jesus Christ and the good news associated with him. Now Paul was able to broaden the hope of the Israelites into a hope for the world: God is here, says Paul, and He wants you. He wants you to be a part of His kingdom, regardless of where you’re from or who your ancestors are.
Hope is here, and it’s opened its arms wide. Let us find that secure embrace.