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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
August 25, 2007

If you get rid of unfair practices,
     quit blaming victims,
     quit gossiping about other people's sins,
If you are generous with the hungry
     and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out,
Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness,
     your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.
I will always show you where to go.
     I'll give you a full life in the emptiest of places -
     firm muscles, strong bones.
You'll be like a well-watered garden,
     a gurgling spring that never runs dry.
You'll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew,
     rebuild the foundations from out of your past.
You'll be known as those who can fix anything,
     restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate,
     make the community livable again.

Isaiah 58:9b-12 (Message*)

This passage has some oft-repeated Biblical themes. The call to us combines the individual and the social. We're to work to help the poor and needy, and get rid of unfair practices. We're not to be self-righteous, focusing on the sins of others, but rather to focus on doing the Lord's work ourselves.

We will be blessed if we act this way. But this blessing is not to puff us up, but to enable us to better serve those around us. Let us examine ourselves to see to what degree we are living “A Full Life in the Emptiest of Places,” as Eugene Peterson titles this passage.

Bill Samuel

* The Message version ©2002 by Eugene H. Peterson.

©2007 Friends in Christ, Inc.

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Document last modified on Saturday, 01-Sep-2007 09:57:15 EDT