Most mornings at 7:45am I sit down with the two children who still live at home for ‘Morning Prayer’.
Morning Prayer is fifteen minutes at most, and usually includes reading the morning Psalm or scripture and asking the question, “What does this prayer or text tell you about God? What is He like? What does he want you to know about who He is?”
My teens aren’t ecstatic about hauling themselves out of bed and orienting themselves to God. But they aren’t ecstatic about plenty of other things that are good for their bodies, minds, and souls, so.
Today we read from Isaiah 11 where the prophet to God’s people reminds them that one day All Will Be Well. One day there will be justice, peace and true communion throughout all physical creation.
One day there will be no more threats, grief, shame, blame, loss, or sorrow. There will come a day when God will banish every wrong, profane, ugly, and unholy thing and all that will remain wil be what is very good.
So Well all things will be, Isaiah insists, that a nursing child will sit in the tall autumn grass and safely play with a shiny, fat cobra.
And over there, under the shade of an Acacia tree, purring and satisfied, a lioness will rest and watch a soft baby calf kick up it’s heels in the field.
And there, in the cool of the evening, a curious child will reach into a nest of vipers with the fearlessness of every three-year-old while his mother smiles and nods at his joy and wonder.
The earth will be full of the knowledge of God and all will be well.
But today the earth is not well. The earth is not yet full of the knowledge of God. The world is bent and crooked and fractured and everyone is screaming that they know how to fix it if we’d only listen and follow them.
Can the bent world make itself straight by it’s own wisdom? Can the shattered mirror of humanity piece itself back together by it’s own effort and offer an accurate reflection of it’s divine image?
No. Creation can’t heal itself by itself.
The bent world cannot straighten itself out. Only the Creator is able to fully set things to right; to bring about perfect shalom, and He will. But until then, the Spirit of the God of Israel lives in us. He is alive and well in those who trust in his name and seek his face. Will we get up each day and orient ourselves to his faithful character? His story? His unchanging purpose and plans for the best of the world?
“They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.”
Peace to you and yours today. And may those who are suffering great grief and loss know the comfort and assurance of the living God who holds you and our world in his arms. Nothing can ever seperate you from him.
For the God who is making All Things Well will not leave us or forsake us in this life or the next. Nor will he let evil go unpunished. The God of history has not left the building.
Shalom and shalom.