Let us pray.
We walk by faith and not by sight trusting in your steadfast love along the journey. Small steps are faithful steps. Help us to keep putting one foot in front of the other and when your spirit leads, set us free to run with the wind. For it is in you, we live and move and have our being. Amen
While we are confronted with images of finitude, scarcity, and hardship in todays readings, it must be noted that we are comforted by images of God’s full of life vision for all creation. Even as life confronts, God’s full of life vision comforts us in the hope of the risen life intended for all creation.
Have you ever been on top of a cloud covered mountain where visibility is limited? I am reminded of our honeymoon trip to Switzerland when we visited the city of Zermatt. Our gondola ride (with our skis in hand) up the klein matterhorn took us to tip of the theodul glacier. Fog was heavy. You couldn’t see far but knew when the fog cleared there would be a captivating sight to behold. In the meantime, it was a tiny bit frightening. Sure enough, as the morning progressed, the fog cleared. The vision of what was promised could be seen clearly. And what a sight it was.
At times we might feel like we are on this cloud covered mountain,
waiting for the fog to lift. For the wind to move the cloud along
When life might seem a little foggy, God’s full of life vision in Isaiah chapter 65 and 11 offers us words of wisdom to live faithfully and to keep God’s vision of community in clear view. It is what life together is meant to be. God’s dream. The world that we are invited to imagine on God’s holy mountain. Where God’s beloved gather.
Isaiah has some wisdom to help us consider God’s full of life vision.
(1. Creating God)
First, God’s full of life vision begins in the act of creating. Often we hear of our God who created (in past tense). We are reminded of a God who is about to create, who is still creating for life here on earth. What is being created is good. What is created brings gladness and rejoicing. God’s holy mountain is marked by joy and delight. Yes, God is about to create. For this we pray weekly in the Lord’s prayer, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Let it be so.
(2. Lived Faith on Earth)
Secondly, God’s full of life vision is one of health. Healthy relationship, healthy systems, healthy communities and countries. Emotional wellbeing will be had. Even the most vulnerable will be well in body, mind and spirit. Sorrow and weeping will be no more. Death won’t take loved ones prematurely. No longer is there a need to lament the unjustness in the land, because there will be wholeness, health and wellbeing.
(3. Economic Justice)
Thirdly, part of God’s full of life vision is economic justice and healthy relationship to money. There will be a greater connectedness to the work of our hands. Those who work with their hands will enjoy the fruit of their labour. There will be no such thing as child labour, or sweatshops or working three jobs and not being able to pay the bills. A living wage will be the minimum. It appears that there is a greater connectedness to the source. Which means a greater connectedness to each other. God’s full of life vision of economic justice, lends itself to a vision of sustainability of shared communal prosperity and well being.
Finally, God’s full of life vision is one of peace. On God’s holy mountain, what divides? What separates? We are told there is peace. Hurt and destruction will be no more. When we hear of God’s peaceable kingdom, we hear of an equal distribution of power. The dangerous wolf and the gentle lamb will feed together. Even among the animal kingdom power will be distributed equally.
To do justice like this, Eric Law writes, you must be able to see and recognize the uneven distribution of power. When you are at a table or in a group, who is present, who is not? Who is speaking, who is not? Who is appointed or elected to positions of leadership? All of this matters. In God’s full of life vision, peace exist because power is mutual and shared.
This is a good text to help us cultivate further what it means to live faithfully in challenging times.
God’s full of life vision is made real. In the people present in the here and now. In the community gathered in this place to proclaim Christ crucified and risen among us. Even as the fog of scarcity, hardship, and finitude can threaten to limit our view, God’s full of life vision presents to us another way. One that calls us to live in hope, to live abundantly and even extravagantly into the Good News of Jesus Christ, to live this way because of Jesus Christ.
How it is lived out, what it looks like - takes on different shapes and forms and colours.
So we wait on God’s holy mountain for more glimpses when the wind blows the clouds away. Looking, not in desperation but in hopefulness and anticipation.
God our refuge and strength, we are blessed and we are the baptized, which means we aren’t called to a faith walk without challenges. You call us to walk courageously in the present even amidst those foggy days. Engaging the what is, and saying this too is good. When the fog clears, waiting for the glimpses of your full of life vision on your holy mountain. A place where community gathers. God is creating. There is peace. God gives refuge.
Are you ready? Even on grey November days, God’s full vision of life, peaks through the clouds.
Thanks be to God.