How often have you watched a “Western” and seen the goodies or baddies, with anticipation, expectancy and hope written on their faces as they lie in wait to ambush the other..? That’s the kind of waiting that Isaiah is talking about here; being alert to the slightest hint that something new is happening.
There are times when God seems close and intimate and active in our lives; when everything is going great with our work, our health, our family, our relationships. There are times when we are inspired to do a good job – the best we can, to “run hard” and do it without getting weary. There are also times when we feel weary, faint and powerless; it’s all we can do to put one foot in front of other without collapsing in a heap.
Israel in exile perceived itself to have been abandoned by God. Isaiah sets out to refute the charge. In effect he says to the people, For goodness’ sake, haven’t you known, haven’t you heard? Isn’t this something you’ve been told from the beginning? Isn’t this part of our history? Our God has not abandoned us. Take a look, your God is active and present.
All the verbs relating to God in this reading are in the present tense. The same pattern is also present in the Psalm. God is at work in the world saving, caring, healing. This tireless God, never faint or weak, nor lacking energy and vitality, ministers to a fainting creation and gives life to weary creatures. The God who creates is also the God who is involved in the life of a faith community.
Isaiah’s ‘strong words for dark times’
are eloquent, simple.
Know… hear… understand…
look up… see… wait…
praise… sing… make melody…
regard God with a great and holy awe…
Weary? Faint and powerless?
Let God take the initiative
for a liberated future.
Wait, alert with anticipation,
Watch for the smallest sign
of something new,
as if to lie in ambush for our God.
© Jeff Shrowder, 2012. More for Epiphany 5B…