Isaiah's prophesies are still relevant
Thus says the Lord:
If you remove from your midst oppression,
false accusation, and malicious speech;
if you bestow your bread on the hungry and satisfy the afflicted;
then light shall rise for you in the darkness,
and the gloom shall become for you like midday.
Then the Lord will guide you always...
He will renew your strength...
~ Isaiah 58:9b-14
These words hit me today as so relevant for our time. So many false accusations are being flung back and forth. So much malicious speech to put down the "other side." So much "us" and "them" being thrown out in conversations. It seems that contradiction abides over compromise.
There is so much oppression: poverty, homelessness, hunger, all the isms, the continually growing gap between rich and poor and the shrinking middle class. We're looking out for self - individualism - at the expense of community and care for others.
We need to work and call on the Holy Spirit to rid our hearts, our families, our communities, our country, our world of all this. We need to convert our words and actions to be positive, generous, and welcoming. We need to care for others: ensure the hungry are fed, the homeless are sheltered, the sick are cared for, the suffering receive mercy and compassion. To be transformed, we need to pray for ourselves and others. We need to be intentionally positive to erase our negativity.
Only when we allow our hearts and words and actions to be transformed will we see the light in the darkness and an easing of our collective distress. As we begin to dialogue instead of debate, welcome instead of ostracize, care for others instead of focusing on ourselves, we will be renewed. We will be strengthened. We will be filled with joy and hope.