Two themes stand out for me right now, and I wonder what they mean for my life and my soul:
|Stained Glass window in Union Congregational Church, Montclair NJ|
- the view from above -- after seeing God "high and lifted up" in the Temple, Isaiah's perspective on himself and his times are changed dramatically ... and when Nicodemus secretly comes to Jesus asking how he might find for himself the new way of life Jesus is living and is inviting others to live as well, Jesus talks about the necessity of being born "from above" ... I know I spend most of my life immersed in the things of our time, our culture, my own class ... so when do I really see "the big picture" and the way things look "from above"? ... what moments or experiences have I, or have any of us had when, like the prophet Isaiah, we have been able to see things in a new way, in the way God might see them, or in the way people simply overwhelmed by God's truth might see them?
Benjamin West, "The lips of Isaiah purified by the Fire"
- the cleansing of our lips -- what I talk about and how I talk about the things of life matter a lot ... today we learn and uncritically adopt so much of our language, our vocabulary and our basic view of what's important in life from retailers and their advertisers, from political parties and other truth-twisters, from celebrities and entertainers and social media ... do I make time for my lips (what I talk about and how I talk about the things of life and issues of the day) to be cleansed and re-shaped to be able to voice God's language, vocabulary and basic view of what's important? ... how do we help one another do this?