It Takes A Village – Week 20
A Religious Game Of Rituals
As we enter into the the writings of the Prophets, we first encounter the poetic heart of Isaiah. It has been considered that Isaiah was more of a evangelist than a prophet for he spoke greatly of the coming King prophesying His demise and resurrection for Isaiah’s words are referenced many times by New Testament writers.
Isaiah’s words consist of sixty six chapters that deal with nearly everything we face in this human experience. The book of Isaiah opens with his warnings of judgement that will befall us when we choose to make our worship of the one true God a religious game of rituals. It is a lamenting of a fallen people- God’s very children- and their rebellious unfaithful hearts.
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners
But though Isaiah preaches hard words meant to stir a complacent soul bringing a healthy fear to its surface, he also preaches of the Lord’s comfort to His people. Christ coming as God’s salvation to His people is a heavy presence that hovers over the entire book. Isaiah speaks with passion of the Good News that awaits God’s beloved giving promise that the glory of the Lord will rise upon them. He paints beautiful pictures of the King that will come to bring peace and favour to the land that is theirs.
Isaiah preaches heavily on the ramifications of having an unfaithful heart to the God who desires an obedient and loving relationship with us, His children. But let us ask ourselves, what are the ramifications of having an unfaithful heart to the community of which we belong? How committed we are to our village speaks greatly to the value we place upon it. The scriptures themselves shine a very bright light upon the truth that we need to submerse ourselves into a body of believers who place Christ as the head. This is called the church, and Christ is the head of this body.
The term ‘church shopping’ has become a common phrase in today’s culture. With the advancements of technology we can feel a part of an organization without even stepping foot in the door. Technology most assuredly has its place, but its purpose is to support the Gospel and not replace it. Committing ourselves to a church- that church being the people within it not the bricks that surround it- is fundamental in our plan of salvation. We cannot play a game of religious rituals for the church, its purposes, gifts, and abilities encourage us to be faithful in our journey proclaiming the Good News to a world seemingly bent on destroying itself.
Father, thank you for the church body of which I belong. The people within it are a gift helping me in my journey with you. May I preach the Good News of your plan to all those who need to hear it, and may the village of which I belong help me to be faithful to your purposes and not my own. In Jesus name, amen.