October 13

Isaiah 45:5-7

“I form light and create darkness, I make weal and create woe; I the Lord do all these things.” vs. 7

We don’t know if Cyrus, the king of Persia, ever received the message that the Lord sent him through the prophet. If he did, there’s little chance he took note of it–the gods of Persia were likely sufficient for his purposes. But since the time of Cyrus millions of people have taken note of these words–and they’ve transformed our understanding of God! Most of us grow up with some picture of God imprinted in our brains through exposure to the culture and occasion religious instruction. And generally it’s nowhere close to reality, precisely because God is so much more than our puny minds can comprehend. Here the prophet describes God as the one who forms light and creates darkness, one who makes weal and creates woe. Think of it! All that we are and all we experience originates in God. So when we ask that big existential question, “Where does evil come from?”, the only possible answer is God! And when we come back with our follow-up question, “Why?”, the answer is plain, so there could be good. One cannot exist without the other! Just as light is unimaginable without darkness, good cannot even be experienced unless there is evil. That kind of non-dualistic thinking is foreign to many, but it’s the best way we have for describing our compassion, slow-to-anger, and loving God.

Thought for the Day: Where do good and evil come from in me?

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