I had a chance to have a time of silence and solitude on Saturday. During the time, I felt God direct me to read Isaiah 1. The entire chapter was like diving into a cool pool. The impact was bracing and the entire time was refreshing. As I read and reread the words, I felt God extending an invitation to explore a new level of missional life. And despite the harshness of Isaiah 1, I felt safe, loved and encouraged by my Father.
The particularly poignant passage was:
Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. “Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.” For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.
I sensed God wanted to teach me about how to seek justice, encourage the oppress, defend the cause of the fatherless and plead the case of the widow. This experience was in the back of my head throughout my meeting with JR and Maria. I’m so excited about her desire to facilitate greater mission in their faith-community as part of her fieldwork. And I’m excited to dialogue with and learn from her and JR.
Now I’m struck by Sondra Wheeler’s plenary lecture on the biblical perspective of wealth. One of the things she talks about is how money is not a means of exchange, but a means of relationship. That’s one I want to reflect on for awhile. (You should listen to her lecture if you still haven’t done so. I put a short “teaser” clip below.)
All of this is to say that these moments, along with some personal anxieties from a couple weeks ago, seem to be converging. I’m trying to listen to what God may be saying in all of this.