Thursday, September 15, 2011

Here Am I

Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy reward.  9Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am  --Isaiah 58:8-9a (KJV)
 This is a turn-about verse from that of the story of Samuel (See I Samuel 3.)  In that story, when Samuel hears the voice of God Samuel is the one who is supposed to say back, "Here am I, Lord."  Here in Isaiah, however, it is God saying, "Here am I."  Which just goes to say that with God the relationship goes both ways.  Each of us - God and human - are here for one another, in this time, in this place.

The coming of Jesus Christ is God's response to the human plaint of, "God, where are you?"  Clearly when we call to God, God listens and He responded decisively with healing and glory in the sending of Christ to live amongst us.  Christ comes bearing the message from God that the Father is here and hears.  Love came down and touched the earth.  In that love is God and God is in that love.

These verses, however, also follow immediately on the heels of words (see verses 6 & 7) that called upon us not to turn away from the cries for help that we hear; to be God's word of presence to the less fortunate next to us.  It is never enough for us to sit back expecting and waiting for the Almighty to dump heaps of grace and blessing and abundance in our laps.  The mere spoiled rotten arrogance of such a thing!  Rather, through fasting Isaiah says be sensitive to the fact that we are here for God as well, doing His bidding and work to overcome poverty, hunger, and the lives being lived of quiet desperation all around us.  Be here for God, as God is here for you is the word of Hope here.  Prepare for His coming by holding hope when others despair of trying.

Blessed Lord, here am I.  Show me how to be what you want the other across from me to be.  Through and in Jesus Christ, Amen. 

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