part of my abstinence includes the discipline of sitting on the edge of my bed every night before i go to sleep and reading the "next" part of wherever i am in the bible. i pick whichever book interests me and read it through, pick another book and read it through. while reading in james (i come back to him frequently) i noticed a verse i hadn't seen before - james 5:10 - "Take the old prophets as your mentors" - i have always wanted a mentor and had been avoiding the old testament as of late, the warring and violence (and plain old inconsistencies irritate me) - but i love james and thought "what the heck, maybe i'll read one of those old prophets to see what he means".
so i started isaiah - crap it's long. and lots of it is crash and burn religion, it was hard to get through it - but somehow on easter i was actually at isaiah 53 - uncanny timing, and last night i had progressed to isaiah 58 (i only read the "next portion - however peterson divides it, that's what i read). i thought 'oh man, now i'm to the good stuff' - yes, i have read isaiah before - it's just that the NASB and the NIV are just like reading someone else's mail to me - the message draws me in, makes it personal some how.
i awoke this morning to find that my dear friend erin was reading my mail:
Marking this place...for those of you who don't know erin is a highly skilled renovation carpenter, she is so humble she probably wouldn't tell you herself - but this verse is HER - turns out i was reading HER mail!
“You’ll be known as those who can fix anything, restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate, making the community livable again.” Isaiah 58:12
read the rest and see if it's your mail too:
This is the kind of day I'm after:
to break the chains of injustice,
get rid of exploitation in the workplace,
free the oppressed,
What I'm interested in seeing you do is:
sharing your food with the hungry,
inviting the homeless poor into your homes,
putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad,
being available to your own families.
Do this and the lights will turn on,
and your lives will turn around at once.
If you get rid of unfair practices,
quit blaming the 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 were 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 58:6-8, 9-12
mentor me isaiah!