For out of Jerusalem will come a remnant,
and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.
Today’s selection is Isaiah 40-43
. It connects with me much more than stories about kings praying for angels to come down and slaughter an army or get an extra fifteen years of life. This passage is about hope. The following imagery has made it into pop culture in some contexts.
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
I feel weary. I feel like giving up sometimes. President Trumps hostility toward transgender people serving in the military, to equivocation from the leader of my own denomination, to a friend relating a story in which her ten-year-old daughter’s teacher found an excuse to use the n-word in class.
I also feel alone sometimes. I feel small and discouraged. But then I remember, according to Isaiah the world will be saved by a remnant; to quote Shakespeare, “we few, we happy few, we band of brothers.”
But salvation, deliverance from mean existence into living in the way, the path for which we were designed, is not to be kept as a secret. Isaiah reports in 42:6, “I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles,” or as NVI states it “como luz para las nacciones.”
This salvation is important. But it comes only from God. Per Isaiah 43:25, “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”
Of course, my version of salvation is not Isaiah’s version of salvation any more than it is that of a Christian fundamentalist who believe he will walk streets of gold in the sky. What does salvation mean to you? Can someone who has a different understanding of salvation than you, nonetheless provide you valuable information about salvation and access to it?