I’ve decided to join the online #IsaiahChristmas community on Twitter, headed up by Tony Reinke, in an Advent reading through the book of Isaiah this year. Today: Chapter 1 and 2.
Maybe it’s the 24 years of praying. Maybe it’s the reading of God’s righteous expose of his peoples crooked condition. Maybe it’s the constant announcement of corruption and evil among leaders and Christians who make excuses for them. Maybe it’s the Case For Christ movie I just watched with my boys. Maybe it’s spending the day with my grandmother who’s cancer is spreading through her brain. Maybe its the walk down the isle at Walmart for milk past piles and piles of things- sweaters with little Santas and elves on them, gingerbread houses, discounted T.V.’s in even bigger sizes than last year, and every kind of candy bar turned cereal you can imagine. Whatever it is, I feel a particularly weighty sense of longing for Jesus to show up. Not like in my living room right now, but in my marriage, in my family, in my race of faith. I’m longing. Waiting. Hoping. Praying for God to visit us. For his will to be done on earth, even on 183rd avenue in Surprise, Arizona, as it is in heaven.
We’re sick from head to toe, inside and out. We can’t escape our wickedness. We are terrible judges. And even worse saviors. We love fickle-man’s praise. We’re blind to our rottenness. God doesn’t want our prescribed penance or hip, western churchianity. Our songs mean nothing when our hearts love bribes and gifts from people. Our prayers come against His rejecting hand when act like we’re all cleaned up when really the blood of our children are on our hands, the price paid for our gain of more things from Walmart. And in this damnable state Isaiah announces our hope:
“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lordthough your sins are like scarlet,they shall be as white as snow;though they are red like crimson,they shall become like wool.” Isaiah 1:18
Only God can do that.