Monday 16 December 2019

Bible Book:

I will gather others to them besides those already gathered. (vs. 7-8)

Isaiah 56:1-3, 6-8 Monday 16 December 2019

Psalm: Psalm 34:1-6, 21-22


When writing these notes, I was reflecting back on a car accident a few weeks ago. I’ll not go into the details, but it made me think. I understand that under law ignorance is no defence. So, protestations about my speed when there is a speed limit I didn’t notice would be of no defence. And if I did notice, I am the more culpable. "Oh I know it says 30, but I was only doing 35, officer." Nothing gets around what I was or was not doing. Again and again the Bible reminds us that it is what we do, more than what we plead that matters … “all those who say, ’Lord, Lord’…” You get the message?

The Hebrew scriptures offer a developing narrative of the people being precious, significant, chosen. But then, time after time, this is challenged. And foreigners become exemplary. ‘Outcasts of Israel’ – those that the people have disregarded, such as Eunuchs, unable to ensure the continuance of their generation, cut off (literally) from the process of salvation – these are the ones that the prophet recognises here as examples to the people of Israel. For "the foreigners … I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer … I will gather others to them besides those already gathered."

The message remains, for me and for you, I think, when we become too arrogant for our own good and seek to exclude others who are in some ways different from ourselves. And this is especially so when their behaviour is good and ours leaves something to be desired.


To Ponder:

  •  In what ways do we exclude people from our churches?
  • How could we include people who say that they feel excluded from decision making in society?
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