6 December 2007Isaiah 54:4-10
"I hid my face from you, but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you'' (v.8)
Here Isaiah is talking of the time that the Jews were in exile.
The message is that the people were not forgotten by God. After the
brief time apart, reunion would be sweeter as God made it clear
that steadfast love is behind the desire to restore the people of
Israel to God's companionship.
In the final verses of this passage, God extends the promise he made to Noah by telling the people of Isaiah's time that he will never punish them in anger again. His 'covenant of peace shall not be removed' (verse 10).
In sending Jesus to earth, God kept his promise and prepared a way that did not involve anger but unconditional love. And Jesus has extended that love to us.
As a Church we have been through a series of extensions; the way we worship and understand God has changed and is changing. God remains the same yesterday, today and forever, but the way in which God connects with us changes - as much as it did with the people of Israel.
Therefore we need to understand God in the 21st century and from a global perspective that has never before been available. Given our multicultural society and technology like the internet, we can now access all the world without leaving home. Our great commission in preparation for the second coming can be realised by all of us.
What is our commission as a Church and as individuals?
How can our worship and work connect with a 21st century God?