THE WILD ANIMALS WILL HONOR ME
with Rev. Rachel
20 THE WILD ANIMALS WILL HONOR ME Isaiah 43
It’s funny what we humans are willing to believe and what we dismiss. Last week, this thought brought to mind a Will Willimon story. This week, I direct your attention to the little guy above; who apparently doesn’t buy it either, this New Creation business.
He does not read my writing on regular basis. Bird literacy efforts would make use of more remarkable literature. But if he were to have read the recent bit about cosmic renewal, he would be like [face above]. Say what? Where?
Birds, after all, are mediums of the message that all is not well. Out of the hundreds of species considered in a recent international review, one in four are responding negatively to disturbances in habitat, food availability, weather, predation, and disease.
For a second week we are nevertheless confronted with imagery involving God doing a new thing. God’s eye is on “the people whom I formed for myself (v.21)”. God’s eye is also on the jackals and ostriches (v.20).
The new thing here in Isaiah 43 is corrective; which is to say, it is restorative. It puts creatures, including humans, back in the position to relate well and thereby flourish. Do we perceive it (v.19)? Have we caught glimpses of divine restoration?
We cannot always spot this sort of grace springing forth. We might fail to invest the prayers, presence, gifts, and service, all of which align us with what God is up to. Or we might step on it. We can crush the source of life as it is being given with our efforts to do life and life together our way.
According to Isaiah, God’s renewing grace does not always go unnoticed or get squashed. It provokes the wild animals to praise (v.20). They perceive it! Tell me that you too delight in this image. It makes my heart smile.
Regarding our friend above: Maybe he isn’t so disbelieving. Maybe this is his praise face. Just as animals can be messengers of hurt, they can be harbingers of how and where we are relating rightly. God help you and I to perceive and participate in the renewal heaven intends.