I love our verse this week! Isaiah 43:19-21 is an expression of God's grace, provision, transformation and purpose. Here is this VERY good word ... "See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up! Do you perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland! The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself, that they might proclaim my praise!"
What a verse filled with blessing and calling to each of us! I have said, ad nauseam, that we often seek our purpose by seeking it in self, in our passions, and in our humanism. Here, God tells us some things about ourselves, that direct us to find our purpose in the God that made us. And, since "a little child will lead them (Isaiah 11:6)," what better way to seek the truth of this passage than to be in worship Sunday as our children lead us in song! And as we enjoy the children, let's think of how these 2 passages dovetail with each other.
1. We are formed. Created. Part of God's good intent. We are not stamped out as widgets, assembled as identical, rote, uninteresting things. We are people, formed in God's image, reaching toward the likeness of Christ. C. S. Lewis said we are not cattle to be herded toward a destination. We are unique, special individuals, woven together in our mother's womb, fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps. 139).
2. We are made FOR God! Not for slavery, some other person, or the world. We are made by God and for God. So, when we seek purpose, do you think it would be appropriate for us to seek that in and from the maker? I think so!
3. We are made to proclaim God's praise. Nicey Eller spoke about Pentecost and said that the "fired-up" disciples emerged from the house and spoke in all appropriate languages about the mighty things God had done! We are made for this praise, which is why we lose something in our Christian walk when we become convinced we can "do" church without fellowship and contact with other Christians. We were not made to "do" church ... we were made to "BE Church."
Sunday (both services) our children will lead worship. They will read Scripture, pray, sing and be in the context and spirit of praise. It is one reason we are all stirred-up when we hear them sing and see their enthusiasm. Carolyn Arends writes (in "What We Hope For") "we start out so innocent and wise, till we cut the world down to our size, we still have that wonder in our eyes!" You were made by God, for God, "that you might proclaim His praise!" So ... do it! Randy