All are welcome to join us for church and Sunday School. Stay for coffee afterwards. Here are Rev. Marlene's thoughts on the chosen readings. Marlene’s Rev. Notes: “Those who hope in the Lord
All are welcome to join us for church and Sunday School. Stay for coffee afterwards.
Here are Rev. Marlene’s thoughts on the chosen readings.
Marlene’s Rev. Notes:
“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.” Isaiah 40:31
At the end of the Old Testament era, most Jews are scattered across the Middle East, dispersed by the Assyrian and Babylonian armies. The minority of the people who have returned to Jerusalem live under the total domination of the foreign government in Persia. The same questions Job asked are now being asked by God’s people: Has God abandoned us? Will we have a future?
The book of Isaiah explains why the future holds hope for the whole world. Chapter 40 introduces this last section of Isaiah with the declaration that God reigns over all. For the dispirited survivors of Babylon’s invasion, this view of God is a reminder that God has neither abandoned, nor rejected the remnant of His chosen people.
Beginning with chapter 40, Isaiah shifts from passionately confronting the nation about their sin and unfaithfulness into a theme of comfort and tenderness. This Sunday’s passage, Isaiah 40:21-31, begins with a reminder that the Creator is also the Lord of history. It reminds the exiles that the stars, so important in Babylonian astrology, were the handiwork of Israel’s God and proclaim His power, not their own.
Far from ignoring and disregarding them, their omnipotent God now offers to His depressed and despondent people in exile the strength and mobility they need. For the journey from Babylon back to Judah is never far from the prophet Isaiah’s mind. Those who hope in the Lord shall find a strength beyond their wildest dreams. I wonder, what do Isaiah’s words mean to us today? “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.” It’s a question to ponder.
(Sunday) 10:00 am - 11:30 am
Sherwood Park United Church
20 Fir Street Sherwood Park, Alberta T8A 1Z6