My friend and pastor Rabbi Morganescu started a 4 week sermon series on Isaiah.
He is a servant of God, who finds creative ways to include the farthest of God’s children, to bring them on the journey of studying the Bible. I have been tremendously encouraged by our Thursday international Isaiah zoom class.
Change, hope, encouragement… these don’t happen in a vacuum, nor overnight. There was a time, not long ago, when I felt completely overwhelmed, drained, at the end of my rope. I know because I couldn’t even articulate it in words. I was coasting, hoping for more clarity or more energy the next morning. And I kept hoping and believing, with little change in sight.
But change did happen. Ever so smoothly. Till one morning I felt clearheaded. We spent a physically uncomfortable weekend in the mountains. Jackie got a slight cold having been caught in the rain on every hike. Only the first time we were unprepared and got soaked.
But we come home with a higher appreciation for our small but very comfortable house. Clean, quiet and restful, even spacious. Then I listened to Brian’s sermon. And I was drawn in by his structure. And I could see it clearly.
Most people would prefer to jump into hopefulness. But in times of crisis, hopefulness is not a pill you take. It’s a process. And we ought to slowly immerse our spirit in it. So the next fours weeks of Sunday sermons at pbcc have the steps to reaching wholesomeness of spirit.
1. Receive God’s word of comfort 2. Draw near to God in lament and listen 3. Do acts of righteousness and justice 4. Be steadfast in hope
Before we can offer anything, we need to receive from God His word of comfort. We are invited to draw near to Him, to lament our losses, our sadness, fear, limitations, brokenness… and listen. Eventually our cup fills, and we’ll know it. It will become clearer and clearer how hearts are on fire, and we overflow with the Spirit. In a desperate world, to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and emanate light. Not by our own will or strength, but because we honestly walked those first two steps. But even as we act, and serve and do acts of righteousness, we ought to remain steadfast in hope. Our reservoir could drain fast if we don’t remain connected to the Vine. It’s a long haul. A lifetime haul. Our steadfast hope draws its strength from the perspective we gain with our Lord father, protector and deliverer. We will run and not be faint. God is good even in the midst of our chaos. And He can and will bring order. To God be the glory.