Rebirth After Disaster   1 comment

Above:  The Mythical Phoenix

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Isaiah 26:8-19 (TANAKH:  The Holy Scriptures):

For Your just ways, O LORD, we look to You;

We long for the name by which You are called.

At night I yearn for You with all my being,

I seek You with all the spirit within me.

For when Your judgments are wrought on earth,

The inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.

But when the scoundrel is spared, he learns not righteousness;

In a place of integrity, he does wrong–

He ignores the majesty of the LORD.

O LORD!

They see not Your hand exalted.

Let them be shamed as they behold

Your zeal for Your people

And fire consuming Your adversaries.

O LORD!

May you appoint well-being for us,

Since you have also requited all our misdeeds.

O LORD our God!

Lords other than You possessed us,

But only Your name shall we utter.

They are dead, they can never live;

Shades, they can never rise;

Of a truth, You have dealt with them and wiped them out,

Have put an end to the mention of them.

When you added to the nation, O LORD,

When you added to the nation,

Extending all the boundaries of the land,

You were honored.

O LORD!  In their distress, they sought You;

Your chastisement reduced them

To anguished whispered prayer.

Like a woman with child

Approaching childbirth,

Writhing and screaming in her pangs,

So are we because of You, O LORD.

We were with child, we writhed–

It is as though we had given birth to wind;

We have won no victory on earth;

The inhabitants of the world have not come to life!

Oh, let Your dead revive!

Let corpses arise!

Awake and shout for joy,

You who dwell in the dust!–

For Your dew is like the dew on fresh growth;

You make the land of the shades come to life.

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A Related Post:

A Prayer for Those Who Have Harmed Us:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2011/09/19/a-prayer-for-those-who-have-harmed-us/

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This reading from Isaiah is part of a plea to God to destroy to destroy the wicked so that the redemption of the righteous may follow soon thereafter.  This projected sequence of events reflects an understanding that difficult times will come, but that circumstances will improve for the righteous afterward.  So, in the midst of impending violence, hope for a better future persists.  God will make this predicted hope a reality, and the children of Israel will weather the storm of exile.  That is the point of this day’s text.

They did weather that storm, of course, and return to their homeland, thanks to God and the Persian Empire.  That covers the historical particulars of this text.  Yet what about contemporary applications?

As I write these words, the global economy is shaky.  This is a time of globalization, so what affects one economy can become an international contagion.  For example, if Nation A in Europe is bankrupt and in need of a bailout, this fact affects the economies of other European nations, due in part to trade and also to the reality of the Euro.  And these effects are evident in international trade with the United States.  Furthermore, troubles in the U.S. economy have affected Europe.  It easy to assign blame, but I prefer that policy makers in various nations find the proper solutions first and foremost.

As for the rest of us, those of us not in the halls of governments, corporate headquarters, and central banks, we ought to look upon these troubled times as an opportunity to sort out our priorities.  How much do we really need?  What is most important?  We cannot take our money and material goods with us when we die; we know that much, do we not?  So, what matters most?  God matters most of all.  The test for loving God entails loving each other.  With that in mind, may we contemplate how God calls each of us to love one another in deeds.  May we build up our human communities, basing them on active compassion.  Social change occurs because enough people change their minds.  And, as we think, so we are; actions flow from attitudes.

This is an opportunity to participate in the remaking of the world, or of parts thereof.  This recreating and remolding is a continuous process.  By grace, may more compassion for each other and deeper, healthier spirituality result.  We can emerge stronger and better on the other side of difficulty.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR 

SEPTEMBER 19, 2011 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT THEODORE OF TARSUS, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY

THE FEAST OF FIORELLO LA GUARDIA, MAYOR OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK

THE FEAST OF THOMAS JOHNSON, JOHN DAVY, AND THEIR COMPANIONS, MARTYRS

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM CHALMERS SMITH, PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

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Published originally at ORDINARY TIME DEVOTIONS BY KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR on September 19, 2011

Adapted from this post:

http://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/09/19/week-of-proper-10-thursday-year-2/

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Posted September 19, 2011 by neatnik2009 in Isaiah 26

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One response to “Rebirth After Disaster

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  1. Pingback: Week of Proper 10: Thursday, Year 2 « ORDINARY TIME DEVOTIONS BY KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

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