5 June 2010

Isaiah 40:12-31

"Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable." (v.28)


Living and writing some 500 years before Christ, Isaiah represents a faith totally different from the other religions around him, most of which worshipped many different gods and goddesses. The easiest thing in the world is to carve a figure out of wood and call it your god. But the prophets taught that the one true living God who had created everything could not be captured or depicted by human art.

The world humanity inhabits can look very small to God. To God the vast galaxies of creation can seem tiny. The huge issues that preoccupy humankind can appear trivial from God's point of view. But this does not make humankind insignificant to God.

God is by far the best source of superhuman strength. This divine strength is given to mortals so that they may fulfil God's purposes and reach their full potential. In the words of Saint Irenaeus (c.130 - c.200 AD): "The glory of God is a human being fully alive".

To Ponder

Every culture and faith suffers from the temptation and folly of creating God in its own image. What are the dangers of this?

Take the opportunity to pray quietly while looking into a likeness of 'The Trinity', or 'The Christ', or 'Mother and Child' in a Greek or Russian Christian icon.

Charles Wesley celebrated the coming of Christ into the world by singing, "The invisible appears in sight, and God is seen by mortal eye" (from Author of faith, eternal word - Hymns and Psalms 662). Do you have a favourite hymn of celebration? What is it? And why does it mean so much to you?

Bible notes author

The Revd Prebendary Norman Wallwork

Norman Wallwork is a supernumerary Methodist minister and a retail chaplain in central Exeter. He is also a prebendary or canon of Wells Cathedral.