Sunday, December 7, 2014

Isaiah 40: 1-11, Written for the Modern Day

I have found much of the coverage of recent events to drive me to despair, and I find it's often everyone's enraged speech and action that makes me feel most hopeless.  I like nuanced conversation and analysis as much as the next person, but we're not getting much of that in the worlds of popular culture. 

However, I found the following on a pastor friend's Facebook page.  It made me think of all the possibilities, of rewriting prophecy for the modern day.  So much oppression surrounds us.  I read the following and thought of victims of trafficking, victims of sexual abuse, victims of domestic violence . . . sadly, the list could go on and on.

But for today, I'll simply re-post this:

A re-reading of Isaiah 40:1-11 for this Sunday:

Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Ferguson, to Brooklyn, to Staten Island, and cry to them that they have not been forgotten, they are loved deeply and from the Lord’s hand hope shall be given.
A megaphone cries out: “In the streets prepare the way of justice, make straight in city parks a highway for our God. Every empty lot shall be a home, and every Trump tower shall be rent controlled apartments; unfair minimum wages shall be living wages, and riot gear will collect dust. Then the presence of God shall be unveiled and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of God has spoken.”

A voice says, “Cry out!” And I said, “What shall I cry out? Is it for the unjust deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Akai Gurley or Tamir Rice? Or the giant gap in economic inequality? Or that America’s democracy is owned by the Koch brothers and other corporate elites?” All people are fragile; their constancy is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades; WE CAN”T BREATHE…but the breathe of God infuses hope and rises in communities where truth cannot be suffocated. For the end of police brutality is at hand.

Get us up to the main streets, O Ferguson, bearers of another world; Shout with strength, O New York City, heralds of justice, shout louder, do not fear; say to the police departments across America, “BLACK LIVES MATTER! BLACK LIVES MATTER!” See, the God of justice comes with might, and her hands serve the lowly; her comforting presence ushers in change. She will bring water for those too tired to shout anymore; she will rub the feet of those too tired to march anymore, and she will carry all in her bosom, and gently lead us to a new heaven and new earth, one without murders by choking or trigger happy cops.

The Wisdom of God for the people of God.
(thanks to Tim Wotring for writing) Thanks to Heidi Neumark for posting on the ELCA Clergy page.


John Flanagan said...

Most American police do believe black lives matter, as well as white, brown, and other shades. The Ferguson incident was self defense on the part of the officer attacked by a recalcitrant and dangerous young thug who had just committed a strong arm robbery at a convenience store, which by the way was burned to the ground along with 16 other stores and businesses by black mobs. The second incident about the NYPD and Eric Garner was separate, and the police officers over acted and need to be indicted. But one cannot rely on a position that police are against black people. Black men are overwhelmingly involved in crimes against white and black victims, so we cannot get away with giving them a free pass. Each incident needs to be examined by the facts alone. God knows the truth, and the truth is that there is evil among all races and colors.

Kristin said...

I agree with you about Ferguson, and I thought about rewriting what I was quoting. But in the end, I decided to leave it the way that the author wrote it.