This scripture may seem like an unusual one to use on a blog about reflecting God’s light. It talks about a community that wasn’t reflecting God, even though He was telling them, “Call on me. I’m here for you!” Sound familiar? It was inspired by a January 28 devotional post by Scott Elgersma, the pastor of The River Christian Reformed Church in Redlands, California.
How did I find this blog? Let’s play “Who-Do-You-Know-Bingo.” My sister Judy lives in Visalia, California, (as does my 97-year-old mother), and Scott used to be the youth leader at their church. A friend of my sister recognized the woman in a story Scott told in his blog, and sent it to Judy. The story is about our mother Tena, so she shared it with me. (I’ll share the Tena story Scott told on Thursday.)
The LORD says, “I was ready to respond, but no one asked for help. I was ready to be found, but no one was looking for me. I said, ‘Here I am, here I am!’ to a nation that did not call on my name. 2 All day long I opened my arms to a rebellious people. But they follow their own evil paths and their own crooked schemes. 3 All day long they insult me to my face by worshiping idols in their sacred gardens. They burn incense on pagan altars. 4 At night they go out among the graves, worshiping the dead. They eat the flesh of pigs and make stews with other forbidden foods. 5 Yet they say to each other, ‘Don’t come too close or you will defile me! I am holier than you!’ These people are a stench in my nostrils, an acrid smell that never goes away. 6 “Look, my decree is written out in front of me: I will not stand silent; I will repay them in full! Yes, I will repay them—7 both for their own sins and for those of their ancestors,” says the LORD. “For they also burned incense on the mountains and insulted me on the hills. I will pay them back in full!” Isaiah 65:1-7, NLT
THINKING IT THROUGH
Verse 1 says it all. God is ready and waiting to interact with us through His Word in the Bible and prayer (individual and group). “All day long he opens His arms,” but do we carve out a spot for Him in our busy lives for Him?
- Do our belief statements match our daily practices?
- Not many of us have secret gardens where we keep idols…or do we? How about the screens we watch publicly or secretly? How about our career paths that drown everything else out? How about all the things we want to buy to make our lives better? Make your own list; we all have them.
- God us reminds us of cause and effect, of consequences of our actions, and about reaping what we sow. What are you reaping today, this week, this month?
- Can we continue to reflect God’s if we don’t spend consistent time in His presence?
HOW IT WORKS
There are no limits on the ways you can choose to express your message from God this week. Use any form of creativity you desire. But express it through your hands, through your mind, through your voice, and through the way you live. And remember, for this exercise, skill level and perfection are never measured.
Express God’s words to you. Show them. It is in taking them in and making them ours, in hearing God’s words and putting them out in the open that makes them true for us. They are no longer hidden, and those around us will see that we are reflecting something—even if they aren’t sure what it is. But we’ll know: it’s God.
Please, share it with me! Send me an email with a picture of whatever way you have chosen to reflect God’s words this week. My email address is KSEvenhouseWWV@gmail.com. I’ll share my responses and yours, if you send them, on Thursday.