Today Isaiah offers us a glimpse into the promised life that awaits all who trust in the Lord. Yet many of us do not believe that this world that we live in can be transformed in our time. We are pessimistic that our actions as followers of Jesus will engage the hearts and minds of others. Why are we so cynical?
Thus says the LORD:
In a time of favor I answer you,
on the day of salvation I help you;
and I have kept you and given you as a covenant to the people,
To restore the land
and allot the desolate heritages,
Saying to the prisoners: Come out!
To those in darkness: Show yourselves!
Along the ways they shall find pasture,
on every bare height shall their pastures be.
They shall not hunger or thirst,
nor shall the scorching wind or the sun strike them;
For he who pities them leads them
and guides them beside springs of water.
I will cut a road through all my mountains,
and make my highways level.
See, some shall come from afar,
others from the north and the west,
and some from the land of Syene.
Sing out, O heavens, and rejoice, O earth,
break forth into song, you mountains.
For the LORD comforts his people
and shows mercy to his afflicted.
Perhaps we have little faith in the renewal of Christian values in our world because we are waiting for some other time or some other reality in which God will open the hearts of those around us. Some of us measure salvation as a far off reality that we can cross into only after death. Is that consistent with the gospel?
Jesus desires that we participate with him in the victory of light over darkness. Our world needs transformation now, not in some unknowable future. We must help to soften the hearts of those around us who need to hear the voice of Jesus.
It is not easy. Some will refuse to listen. Some may even ridicule or persecute us.
Will we summon the courage to proclaim the kingdom that Jesus promises?