Jared Witt l February 22, 2018
[The Lord spoke to Isaiah]
Shout out, do not hold back!
Lift up your voice like a trumpet!
Announce to my people that children are dying!
Announce to this “one nation under God” their sins.
I’m to understand that day after day they seek me
and delight to know my ways,
as if they were truly a “Christian” nation
and did not forsake the way of their God;
they presume that their judgments are my righteous judgments,
they claim to be close to God.
They say, “Look, we pray to open up House proceedings. Do you not see?
We place our hands on Bibles, do you not notice?”
Look, you serve your own interest on Sunday,
if you pay your workers unlivable wages Monday through Saturday.
You go to church only to quarrel and to fight
and to strike with a wicked fist.
Such worship as you do today
will not make your voice heard on high.
Is such the worship that I choose,
a day to humble oneself?
Is it to bow your head piously,
and put on your church persona?
Will you call this a Christian nation,
a day acceptable to the Lord?
Is not this the religion that I choose:
to loose the bonds of injustice,
to take your boot off the neck of the immigrant,
to let the incarcerated classes go free,
and to break every power imbalance?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover them,
and not to hide your face and call your hurting brother or sister a stranger?
Were you to do that you truly would be the leader of the free world
and your healing would spring up quickly;
your reputation for justice would go before you,
the glory of the Lord would be your national defense.
Then you would call, and the Lord would answer;
you would cry for help, and the Lord would say, “Here I am.”
If you remove the suspicion of your neighbor,
the scapegoating and the conspiracy theories,
if you offer your food to the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,
then you may actually be known as the “land of the free;”
outsiders might just call you the “home of the brave.”
The Lord will guide you continually,
and satisfy your needs in parched places,
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters never fail.
The vision of your “forefathers” shall be rebuilt;
the future of generations now fearful of their own schools;
you shall be called the repairer of the class divide,
the restorer of neighborhoods.
If you refrain from trampling the ideals you confess on Sunday,
from pursuing your own interests on my holy day;
if you delight in the true worship of doing justice
and make the holy day of the Lord truly holy;
if you honor it, not going your own ways Monday through Saturday,
serving your own interests, or pursuing your own affairs;[b]
then you shall take delight in the Lord,
and I will make you ride upon the heights of the earth;
and you'll be worthy of the land of Lincoln, Dorothy Day, and MLK, Jr.,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
- An adaptation of Isaiah 58
Note: It is amazing how minimal and superficial were the edits which made this passage almost ham-fistedly relevant to our situation.
Cheers and Peace,
How Castle Church is stirring up a new spirit in the church from a brewery in Orlando, FL.