Fertile Ground

God speaks through the prophet Isaiah this coming weekend, and we hear anguish.  In fact, the entire chapter is one that describes the many ways the people have disobeyed God, not met expectations, and in general, failed.  The metaphor is a vineyard:

 

3And now, inhabitants of Jerusalem and people of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard. 4What more was there to do for my vineyard that I have not done in it? When I expected it to yield grapes, why did it yield wild grapes? (Isaiah 5:3-4)

 

I picked up a book at Barnes and Noble this week entitled, “Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts” by Carol Tavris and Eliot Aronson.  I’m not sure what their conclusion is, but in the book they lay out the case for why nations, groups, corporations, and even individuals have such a great ability for self-deception.

 

We could talk all day, all night, every day, every night, about the root causes of our own evil.  We could come up with our own theories and tell our own stories.  But none of the talk would stir a heart, mend a relationship, or fix a problem.  For that, we need to rely on the God who loves us enough to be anguished in the first place.  Hearing the anguish of God plainly spoken through God’s Word, unfiltered by our own justifications, may just be the fertile ground of a new vineyard in our lives.

 

Prayer

O God of anguish, do not change your expectations for compassionate living.  Instead, change us.  Amen.

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