[Forsaken] My Delight Is in Her \\ [Desolate] Married

Posted by Fr. Tere on 01/15/2016

For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not be quiet, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a burning torch.

It is always a joy and a mystery when I read the prophets and hear God saying so clearly and loudly and often, “come home, come back to me, I love you.” Our reading this week from the prophet Isaiah (62:1-5) does that as well. God wants his children to act like his children, to recognize him as their Father and Lord, and he’ll keep asking and begging and promising and sending out invitations until they come … or at least the ‘faithful remnant’ responds.

God says, For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not be quiet, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a burning torch.” He promises to change even the name of the land from Desolate to Married, and his people My Delight Is In Her, instead of Forsaken, because those who come back will a ‘crown of beauty,’ a ‘royal diadem.’

We saw something of how this works during the meeting of the Primates (leaders) of the Anglican Communion this week. After years of asking, begging, promising, and sending out invitations, the Primates disinvited TEC (the Episcopal Church) from the councils of the Church because of its apostasy on some very important issues. The primary focus of the censure is the changing of the marriage covenant to include same-sex unions, and calling those unions ‘marriage.’ The theological disparity with the ‘faith once delivered’ is far greater than that – but it is a visceral image of how far that part of the Communion has strayed.

Like our Father, the Primates did not ‘throw out the baby with the bath water.’ No, the suspension, censure, disinvitation (whatever one might call it) was time-limited to allow TEC to come home via its next General Convention in 2½ years. The Communion, as does our Father, is not going to keep silent or quiet until TEC’s ‘righteousness goes forth as brightness,’ and TEC’s ‘salvation [is] as a burning torch.’ God, through the Primates of the Communion (as through the prophets of old), is once again calling for repentance and restoration, that the marriage of the Lamb might be a cause of rejoicing.

That is on a fairly large scale, the Anglican Communion being the third largest world-wide Church (after Rome and the Orthodox). Maybe smaller than God calling his People home, but significant.

But – every day, in so many ways, our Father finds reason to call us home as well, with begging, and pleading, and asking, and promising, and even sending out invitations. How are we responding to his voice? Are we allowing God, through his Holy Spirit, to make our ‘righteousness go forth in brightness, and [our] salvation as a burning torch’ to ourselves, our families, our neighborhoods, cities, counties, states, and countries? Are we willing to allow our sins to be burned up with the dross of our lives so that we reflect the glory and face of Jesus, of Christ our Redeemer to the world?

As Christians, we are either on fire with the Holy Spirit or just smoldering, as we disinvite him to keep throwing fuel onto his fire.

What kind of Christian are you? Ready to burn for the sake of the Good News of God in Jesus? Pastor Tere

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