Redemption and Joy
Lord, my life is filled with ambiguities: anguish and ecstasy, peace and anger, thanksgiving and pain. I’m grateful You’re with me.
Read Isaiah 35:1-10
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
Where would you point to for signs of God’s redemptive love in our world today? What looks to you like a “Way of Holiness” (Isa. 35:8)?
Isaiah gives us such breathtaking images of God’s redemptive power. What could be more dramatic than the scene of parched desert bursting into bloom, teeming with life; a crocus exploding in color? What could be more expressive than the picture of those who couldn’t see or hear or walk being released into new restored beginnings? Isaiah’s language reflects a broken creation coming back into new life through the love of God: water gushing in the wilderness, burning sand becoming pools. It is an outpouring of exuberant joy in color, energy, movement, restoration—all to give us a prophetic vision of redemption.
It is significant that the image turns into that of a highway. These are not highways with cars, but highways for walking together and sharing our souls. In Africa, thousands of people walk along highways every day, spending this part of their life’s journey with each other. In London, when a million people marched for peace, their shared convictions directed their feet. Here, this highway is the Way of Holiness where justice will shine and God’s ransomed and redeemed people will walk in safety and peace.
Many in our culture would object to Isaiah’s vision of a Highway restricted to those who walk in “the Way,” but this is not a declaration of exclusiveness. For, “the Way” is a Way of Holiness into which all are invited. And we know from the Gospels that those who accept the invitation will not be relying on their own virtue or morality but will know their unworthiness. To travel the Highway and enter the City is for any who have been forgiven and restored, who have responded to the open invitation from Christ, who is himself our Redeemer and Friend.
Look back over your life and consider what the journey has been like. Thank God he has been with you. Who can you invite to join you on “the Way”?
Lord, thank You for Your redemptive love. Help me to see more signs of it in my life as I follow You on “the Way.”
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