In looking over this morning’s service, I was immediately struck by the words our Youth Choir will be singing in the Call To Worship: “In the midst of pain, I choose love … in the midst of war, I choose peace … when my world falls down, I will rise.” These words are in one way a sobering reminder about the painful realities of life and at the same time a poignant testimony of resilience in the face of struggle.
The passage from Isaiah today ends with an often quoted verse of Scripture, “but those who wait for Yhwh find a renewed power: they soar on eagles’ wings, they run and don’t get weary, they walk and never tire.” Isaiah 40 proclaims God’s promise of a new future, but it falls on the ears of a weary people, returning from exile to a land in ruin. Where will they find the strength to choose love? To choose peace? To rise? Isaiah reminds them that the answer is in the waiting arms of the “everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.”
We welcome to our service today Yusuph Emmanuel, the CEO and Founder of Twelve21 Global, the organization that is receiving our world hunger offering this year. His life and work, which you can read more about in the Tapestry, is another testimony of the faithfulness of God in the face of struggle. Of how God meets us in our greatest need. By choosing love and peace they are helping others to rise.
Perhaps you too find yourself weary today. Our prayer is that in this next hour you will be reminded that the Holy One in Isaiah is also here with you. May each of us find here the strength to choose love, choose peace and to rise in the week ahead.
Our God is indeed worthy of worship. Thanks be!