Lent with Bonhoeffer, Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Isaiah 55:1-9 (ESV) – Lent 3C
[The Compassion of the Lord]
“Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
Incline your ear, and come to me;
hear, that your soul may live;
and I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
my steadfast, sure love for David.
Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples,
a leader and commander for the peoples.
Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know,
and a nation that did not know you shall run to you,
because of the LORD your God, and of the Holy One of Israel,
for he has glorified you.
“Seek the LORD while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near;
let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
– Brief Historical Background: This is the close of the section of Isaiah from chapter 40-55 that is sometimes called Deutero-Isaiah or Second Isaiah. This section addresses Jewish people living outside of Judah because of the Babylonian Exile, and they are encouraged to return to the Promised Land at the beginning of Persian rule- sometime between the 8th and 7th centuries B.C.
– This passage can be viewed through the lens of the Lenten season. While the specific message was to the Children of Israel living in Exile, the hymn of Isaiah is still a message to us as we prepare for Easter. It starts with “Come everyone who thirsts, Come to the Waters.” Compare this to our Lectionary Reading from John that recounts the encounter of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well. Verse 6 tells us, “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; (Isaiah 55:6 ESV).” Lent is a time for seeking God and calling upon Him in prayer. Lent is a time to forsake our sinful and worldly thoughts and return to the Lord (verse 7).
(download link for Presentation on Free Resources page)
The Prayer of St. Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.