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Your name is no longer forsaken

January 17, 2019

You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate; but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her, and your land Married; for the LORD delights in you, and your land shall be married. Isaiah 62: 4

How apropos that on the Sunday where we have John’s account of the wedding feast at Cana, where Jesus turns water into wine, that we also experience Isaiah’s words – filled with wedding images – on Israel’s redemption. Israel’s exile - and return from exile in Babylon - is the focus of a HUGE amount of energy in the prophetic witness of the Old Testament. And Isaiah 62: 4 uses the language of a lover, once scorned by the nations, who will now be embraced and given a new name. God will “marry” Israel, the sign of complete and total faith and fidelity. Israel will change her name from Desolate and Forsaken to Delight. Israel will be transformed, changed, renewed, and redeemed by the intervention of God.

 

 

Jesus intervenes in Cana, when his mother asks our Lord to do something about the wine shortage at a nondescript wedding there. Jesus changes the water, held in six enormous containers, into wine of the finest vintage. Yet, this first miracle of Jesus seems rather small compared to most of Jesus’ other miracles. But for me this wonderful moment highlights the transformative power of God’s intervention. Jesus acted and something was powerfully changed. When Israel allowed God to act, and she was willing to accept it with faith, her fortunes were changed. We, too, can be transformed and made new by the guiding touch of God in Christ. My life has been up and down and back and forth over the years. But I remember vividly the times when I was most open to the power of God and it was then that transformation truly happened for me. At the same time, transformation is almost always a process, slow, not instantaneous. Channeling the redemptive, transforming power of God takes patience and time. We have time but are we open? The intervening touch of Jesus is usually only as far away as the turn of our hearts in His direction

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