Thursday, November 18, 2010

What Really Matters

"This is the kind of fast day I'm after:
to break the chains of injustice,
get rid of exploitation in the workplace,
free the oppressed,
cancel debts.

What I'm interested in seeing you do is:
sharing your food with the hungry,
inviting the homeless poor into your homes,
putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad,
being available to your own families.

Do this and the lights will turn on,
and your lives will turn around at once.
Your righteousness will pave your way.
The God of glory will secure your passage.
Then when you pray, God will answer.
You'll call out for help and I'll say, 'Here I am.'

If you get rid of unfair practices,
quit blaming victims,
quit gossiping about other people's sins,
If you are generous with the hungry
and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out,
Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness,
your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.
I will always show you where to go.
I'll give you a full life in the emptiest of places—
firm muscles, strong bones.

You'll be like a well-watered garden,
a gurgling spring that never runs dry.

You'll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew, rebuild the foundations from out of your past. You'll be known as those who can fix anything, restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate, make the community livable again.

(Isaiah 58:6-12 The Message)


Birdie said...

I wish all Christians would take these and other beautiful words of scripture and look inward. Let God speak to others in His own way.

Taps said...

Thanks for sharing Bish...very inspirational.

Avatar said...

I remember exactly when and where Isaiah 58 came into my consciousness. Interestingly, it was a Catholic "tract" from a church in Germany--smile. I think this is the first time for The Message version, though. Most cool.

Enjoying especially the thought of glow-in-the-dark lives. Still have the Catholic tract...gonna print this one out too. Thanks, Bishop!

Preacher's Daughter said...

So inspiring! I will never forget getting your DVD teaching months ago...and how it touched my life! Love is so amazing....thank you for being obedient. Being from generations of preachers and not missing a church service until the age of 18 ...I had no clue of the love and mercy that is now.

tracy said...

Lovinggggg it!

Erik said...

We can fix anything. What we see to fix in ourselves first. In doing that, others come to us to fix themselves, initiate change in systems and paradigms to bring Us and those who ask to tune with God. We are better tuning forks as we empty ourselves from ourselves, as strange as it sounds to become ourselves. We allow God to fully enjoy Us, to fully live with Us, as we become our full vulnerable selves in that our real selves, which is our strongest selves, most in flow with God.

We experience The One, someone is hungry, We are hungry. Someone is fed, We are fed. Give, receive. Take, and diminish.

We receive as we give, strong as we are vulnerable. What some see as down is up as God describes. Some desire to live in the limits of their perceived strength, other desire to love unlimited in their perspective of weaknesses and strengths. Some desire all of both and know both are imposters. In weakness all are strong, in strength all are weak.

From that rubble new reality is experienced. Again, We are reminded that we live every moment anew.

Amen. This is reality. Our kin await.

Erik said...

Whosoever will. That is a statement for All. Whosever will be an – antagonist, an adversary, a supporter, a contributor, vulnerable, closed, in love, in fear, open, inclusive, exclusive, a promoter, a detractor, part of the establishment, a revolutionary , received, rejected, believers, atheists, every religion, no religian-- All come, All loved.

Whosoever will, come. All approved of by God. Amen.

Anonymous said...

BEAUTIFUL!!! Absolutely Beautiful! You have such a gift for writing and helping the outcasts (leaporacy?) of society. I bless your ministry and do praay that GOD will breathe mightily on you. I have always seen soooooo much of God's spirit in you that wanted to flow out. Now I pray you are free to let it flow out. You helped the "religious minded whatevers..." find the truth and helped them learn to LOVE and not JUDGE. I will forever be grateful in all I have learned from God speaking through YOU! Thank you!!!
Love and repect,
Colleen mcPherson

Anonymous said...

Beautiful thoughts and writing Eric.

BrendaY said...

That is so inspiring and my wish is that others will come into the knowledge. Come to think of it I will share this with some of my "bible-beliveing believers" who are interceding for my soul. They are so full of it but I'll leave it to God and go on and live my life.

Erik said...

Tomorrow we celebrate the sunlight and the eternal gurgling spring.

Avatar said...

It is intriguing revelation (from Sunday's message) re: the 2nd commandment being like unto the first...which must then imply we are to love "others" with all our heart, mind, soul and strength.

Heart and soul, sure. Mind? well, that usually slips in. But strength? I have not noticed that much strength is needed to love someone who loves me...or someone, like God, who loves "anyway".

It seems so obvious now that its an ingredient needed for loving anyone I may label as "other".

Cool. This is another one of those been-there-all-along clues God's been waiting for someone to find...and try to live...and fail...and then let Him change (I wanted to leave that as my first word--"pummel" but obviously didn't--smile) human hearts into being. Following Christ into the deep things of God is not for the faint of heart. I guess that's one of the reasons He hides His coins in fields.