Third Sunday in Lent
Week of: March 24, 2019
Scripture: Isaiah 55:1-9
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
(Isaiah 55:8-9, NRSV)
I can't help but hear John Foley's "Come to the Water" when I read this passage from Isaiah. This particular part of Isaiah's prophecy speaks hope to those in exile. This passage suggests that sometimes, when we find ourselves in the midst of struggle, we cannot find hope. Yet here, Isaiah invites those who hunger and thirst for hope to come and partake, at no cost to them.
Of course, this passage uses the ordinary elements of bread and water as metaphors for hope. When we long for hope, we long for God. Our hope comes in the Lord, who made heaven and earth. Our hope comes from the One whose thoughts and ways are not our own.
How might a dramatic reading of this Scripture offer hope to someone in your congregation? I can imagine a liturgical dance paired with an arrangement of Foley's setting, complete with flowing fabric for water, or the creation of an altarscape with an abundance of food, helping people envision a future with hope. How might your worship arts ministry offer hope to someone this weekend? How might it introduce someone to God?
Gracious God, you offer hope in abundance, but often in ways that we do not comprehend. Allow your thoughts and ways to invade our own. Use us and our ministries to offer hope to our congregations and communities. Amen.
Rev. Jay Regennitter
First United Methodist Church
Development Coordinator, The Fellowship
Photo: The waters of Lake Junaluska, as seen during Music & Worship Arts Week 2018. (Fellowship photo by Daniel Craig.)