IN PLAIN SIGHT THEY SEE
with Rev. Rachel
8 IN PLAIN SIGHT THEY SEE - Isaiah 52
Bugsy is not my dog. Heck, I’ve spent all of three hours with her, maybe four. Her days are numbered, though, and that fact calls forth a different quality of interaction. I find myself drawn to her crèche of wool and fleece. The blankets evidence the love—her family’s love, yes, but more than that. What is she telling me? I wonder.
Beyond lifting her head and eyelids, Bugsy can do what her caregivers assist her in doing. She needs help with everything. This is not exactly the condition that characterizes our God.
Isaiah 52: Watchmen strain to see who is coming and to hear the news. The messenger reports that God has triumphed and in so doing has seen to it that they, captive exiles, will get to go home. God is victorious, then.
Yes and no. God saves. How God saves entails more than beating the Babylonians. “The text gestures beyond its historical confines” writes Dirk Lange.
I’m thinking that the messengers are many and that we, the Church, are to be a watch party for the wondrous news. The wondrous news is about the reign of God and God’s reign can dawn upon us on the floors of our homes where dogs lay dying and where we feel ourselves swept up in the swaddling cloth.
God made real in weakness (2 Cor. 12:9) blows in like fresh revelation every time. There beside Bugsy, my heart wakes up. If I believe that God came as an infant utterly dependent on a motley crew of others, it is in part due to moments like this one wherein a bug-eyed Boston terrier is bidding farewell to this world in a way not unlike her hello.
Once her feet were not yet for standing. Now, they are no longer for standing. How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet...(v.7). I realize how she is telling me about that for which we have no words. Peace, good news, salvation...these come close.
In plain sight our spiritual ancestors saw God doing God’s thing. And that is my wish for you. Be pulled in, though it may be bittersweet. Be held by Christmas.