May 29, 2021
Isaiah 5:15 and 20
(Formerly from Christ UMC in the Scenic South District)
Isaiah 5:15 and 20New Revised Standard Version
15 People are bowed down, everyone is brought low,
and the eyes of the haughty are humbled.
20 Ah, you who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter!
DevotionAnyone attending an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting may hear someone say, “I was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired.” It is a kind of confession: a repentance, if you will, which initiates a turning around. It is the first of many steps toward a better direction. When we face up to our problem, we can begin to imagine a solution. Of course, we will need the help of others and a plan. In AA that means getting a sponsor and attending meetings, reminding us that none of us can survive on our own.
In recent times we have lost much of glue that held us together. Whether in our church or society, we have been confronted with the difficulty of getting along. Uncertainty and mistrust, like an invasive species, has crept into our culture. It makes us question what is good or evil, light or dark, bitter or sweet. It has made us delusional, like the abuse of a drink or a drug. It has caused us to inflate our own opinions while we devalue our neighbor. It fosters denial.
Maybe we were overdue for a deflating experience to let the air out of our “puffed up” identity. When Scripture says the “people are bowed down, everyone is brought low, and the eyes of haughty are humbled,” it is not necessarily a bad thing. There is a healing that comes out of having our bubble burst as reality slaps us in the face. A world-wide plague, social and political unrest, and an admission of racial injustice may have brought us back to our senses. Humility is the beginning of wisdom.
Much has happened in recent times to bring us back down to earth. The symptoms of our disease are out in the open and cannot be ignored. Selfish, isolated living is not really living after all. It is true that no one is an island unto themselves. When our bubble has been burst and we can humbly face the truth, “I am sick and tired of feeling sick and tired,” we find we have turned a corner. When we admit our lives have become unmanageable, we open the door to the help of others and to God’s help.