The last part of Isaiah, most scholars believe, was written to God’s
people who had returned to their homeland after years in exile. The
memory of their suffering was still fresh in their minds, and they faced
the difficult task of rebuilding their shattered nation. Yet, here, God gives them a vision of a whole new world – one of peace and justice, of
security and compassion. Where before there had been weeping and
the fear of enemies plundering their homes and possessions, now God
promises laughter and safety and abundance. It’s a wonderful dream,
and it gives a picture of the Reign of God that Jesus preached about,
lived and died for.
When Jesus challenges us to bear fruit, it is this picture that he has in
mind. It’s not that we must all become world-changing activists. Rather,
as we live according to God’s values and purposes, as we stay
connected with Jesus, as we allow the Spirit to direct us, we bear fruit
that is a small reflection of this great dream. And, if each of us lives in
this fruit-bearing way in our corner of the world, the whole world is
ultimately changed. It’s like Mother Teresa once said: “If you want to
make the world clean, sweep your own doorstep.”
Today, take some time to meditate on this vision of God’s gracious,
peaceful world, and do what you can to live this dream now.
The practice of praise constantly lifts our awareness beyond our own
perspectives and struggles to see things through God’s eyes. Today, try
to constantly remember Isaiah’s vision of God’s Reign, and praise God
for it, so that it sinks right into your soul.
For your dream of peace and justice, and for the small ways that I can
help to make it happen, I praise you, O God.