February 1

Isaiah 40:21-26

“It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to live in;” vs. 22

The prophet may not have had our cosmology–we’ve pretty much discarded the notion of a three story universe–but he certainly had an understanding of God that defies the centuries. In his estimation the Lord was above and beyond all things and human beings were pretty much at the level of grasshoppers. Some days, with all our hopping and scurrying around, that seems a pretty apt description. Isaiah wanted to encourage the people in their discouraging situation. As captives in Babylon they were finding it hard to maintain faith, and many believed that God had deserted them. Isaiah tells them that their image of God is too small and that God is more than they can even imagine. There are plenty of people among us who can relate to the Israelites–it’s like the world has been taken captive by COVID-19 and after a year of social distancing and losing loved ones, many are discouraged. And even the advent of a vaccine doesn’t seem to have made things much better. Some wonder where God is in all of this. And the answer is that there’s nowhere that God isn’t! God is present in the dying and in the living, and in God, ultimately there will be healing and new life. Because of who God is there can’t be any other outcome!

Thought for the Day: What was my first image of God? Did I ever adjust it?

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