Thursday, 2 March 2017

This is our world - a Lenten reflection

Woe to the sinful nation, a people whose guilt is great, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the Lord; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him. Your country is desolate, your cities burn with fire; your fields are being stripped right before you, laid waste as when overthrown by strangers. Daughter Zion is left like a shelter in a vineyard, like a hut in a field, like a city under siege. (Isaiah 1:4,7-8)

This is our world. 
The world we have chosen. The world we have made.

We have forsaken the Lord: as paralysed by fear we have forgotten to seek the costly grace of the gospel promise.
Our country is desolate: with the desperation and disillusionment of poverty and inequality, of exclusion and isolation, of all who have nowhere left to turn. 
Our cities burn with fire: with the burning pain of all those who suffer in body, mind or spirit.
Our fields are stripped right before us: by the environmental degradation of our unquenchable thirst for resources.
We are like cities under siege: hidden behind barbed wire and state surveillance and the teetering walls and weaponry our fear has erected around us.

This is our world.
The world we read about. The world we blame on someone else.
The world which we accept because we don’t believe we can change it.
The world we accept because of the comforts it affords us if we just keep our eyes closed.
This is the world we have chosen. The world we have made.

This is our world. 
This is our choice. The world we will make and remake.
To repent. 
To turn around.
To begin again.
To choose a different path.
To live by love and step out in faith;
To promote justice and equality, friendship and inclusivity;
To seek healing for all who suffer;
To act as stewards of all of creation;
To build bridges instead of barriers.

This is our world.
This is our choice.

Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. “Come now, let us settle the matter,” 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 good things of the land. (Isaiah 1:16-19)

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