Scripture for the Day: Isaiah 51:1-3
For the month of June, I have been leading virtual Sunday school for our 4th and 5th graders. We start each morning with “highs and lows” which is a time of sharing the highlight and low point of your week. In case you don’t already know, our 4th and 5th graders are a very intelligent, fun, and eager group! I thoroughly enjoy spending time with them and hearing what they have to say. Their highs are always so different from my own. They usually share that they rode bikes with a friend, soccer practice has resumed, or they had a birthday and received an exciting gift. I live vicariously through them for a few moments remembering the pure childhood joy of playing with friends, sports, and birthdays. Despite our age difference though, our lows are usually the same, “Coronavirus.”
Last Sunday, as we were learning and reviewing the story of Philip and the Ethiopian, we digressed to discuss the book of Isaiah, which the Ethiopian official was reading when Philip approached him. When asked what they felt this story was teaching them, they responded with, “If you don’t understand something you should ask someone to help you.” As simple as this was, it was so poignant to hear it from a child during these times. So when I opened the scripture assignment for this devotional and saw it was from the book of Isaiah, I thought, “What do I need help to understand here?”
This passage was written as an encouragement to the people of God to trust in God for deliverance, from exile and their dispersion. You can look at a scripture several times and it will speak to you in different ways depending on what you’re experiencing. The commands “listen” “look” “look” stood out to me this time. There’s a lot that we’re seeking God’s deliverance from right now, but we have to do our part to remain hopeful and faithful, as the people of God in exile were encouraged to do. Personally, to stay hopeful and faithful, I’m making a conscious effort to listen and look so as to better understand. Whether it be the children of FPC, my neighbors, or strangers, there’s much to learn by listening to others and observing through a different lens. I’ve been working to pay attention to the stories, experiences, and words of others. Whether that’s what this scripture in Isaiah says to you, or you interpret it differently, I hope you’ll take a few moments to quiet yourself, look at it, and listen to how God speaks to you through this passage.