Bring forth the people who are blind, yet have eyes,
who are deaf, yet have ears!
Let all the nations gather together,
and let the peoples assemble.
Who among them declared this,
and foretold to us the former things?
Let them bring their witnesses to justify them,
and let them hear and say, “It is true.”
You are my witnesses, says the Lord,
and my servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may know and believe me
and understand that I am he.
Before me no god was formed,
nor shall there be any after me.
I, I am the Lord,
and besides me there is no savior.
I declared and saved and proclaimed,
when there was no strange god among you;
and you are my witnesses, says the Lord.
I am God, and also henceforth I am He;
there is no one who can deliver from my hand;
I work and who can hinder it?
Thus says the Lord,
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
For your sake I will send to Babylon
and break down all the bars,
and the shouting of the Chaldeans will be turned to lamentation.
I am the Lord, your Holy One,
the Creator of Israel, your King.
Isaiah 43: 8-15
I often fail to see, despite my eyes or to hear, despite my ears. Don’t you? I have often sat in a lecture typing notes, and just caught the end of a really important comment but not heard the beginning, because I have been too busy concentrating on the previous sentence. I have often read a book and began to daydream, the words blurring before my eyes.
In Lent, we often fail to see the trees for the leaves. We often fail to hear the Good News, as we try to focus on shutting our ears to temptation. In our self-denial, perhaps we fail to truly grasp the goodness of the God who breaks down the bars of oppression, the God who strengthens us for every challenge and who, alone, can bring us true joy. And so, instead of creating a false God out of our Lenten challenges, let’s challenge ourselves to open our ears and our eyes to good news, to beautiful creations and let’s witness to the wonder of God’s all-consuming love.
Alex Young is preparing for URC ministry at Westminster College
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