The Rev. Carole Anderson
Luke 8:26-39
13 mins 11 secs
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Ever have one of those days when everyone around you seems to turn their back on you, ignore you or even worse, act like you don't exist? Well, in our readings for Sunday, God seems to be having one of those days with Israel. God responds to Isaiah's prayer asking for divine deliverance by saying, "I was ready to be sought by those who did not ask for me; I was ready to be found by those who did not seek me. I said, “Here I am, here I am,” to a nation that was not called by my name. I spread out my hands all the day to a rebellious people, who walk in a way that is not good, following their own devices; a people who provoke me to my face continually, sacrificing in gardens and making offerings on bricks; who sit in tombs, and spend the night in secret places; who eat pig's flesh, and broth of tainted meat is in their vessels; who say, “Keep to yourself, do not come near me, for I am too holy for you." In other words, where were you Israel when I was ready and waiting for you? But what comes next is very scary for Israel, because God now lets them know how angry he is with them. " These (things that you did) are a smoke in my nostrils, a fire that burns all the day. Behold, it is written before me: “I will not keep silent, but I will repay; I will indeed repay into their lap both your iniquities and your fathers' iniquities together, says the Lord; because they made offerings on the mountains and insulted me on the hills, I will measure into their lap payment for their former deeds.” So Israel, be prepared because judgment is coming. But, and this is a big but, God also acknowledges that there will be a righteous remnant left that is worth saving. Thus He declares, "As the new wine is found in the cluster, and they say, ‘Do not destroy it, for there is a blessing in it,’ so I will do for my servants' sake, and not destroy them all. I will bring forth offspring from Jacob, and from Judah possessors of my mountains; my chosen shall possess it, and my servants shall dwell there." This will be a long time coming, but in Jesus we are restored as Abraham's offspring, and heirs according the promise. In Galatians, Paul reminds us, "In Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus and heirs through hope of His everlasting covenant." Go in peace to love and serve the Lord!