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Listen and hear, look and see

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Listen to me, my people; hear me, my nation: the law will go out from me; my justice will become a light to the nations. My salvation is on the way (Isaiah 51:4,5a).

The post Listen and hear, look and see appeared first on Lutheran Church of Australia.

by Marlene Cooper

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Listen to me, my people; hear me, my nation: the law will go out from me; my justice will become a light to the nations. My salvation is on the way (Isaiah 51:4,5a).

Read Isaiah 51:1–6

‘Sometimes a light surprises the child of God who sings; it is the Lord who rises with healing in his wings; when comforts are declining, he grants the soul again, a season of clear shining to cheer it after rain.’ So begins a beautiful William Cowper hymn written over 200 years ago. A light shines, a new perspective is gained.

Israel in exile, weary and disconsolate, was visited by a similar ‘clear shining’ from God who brought them a new perspective in exchange for their tears through a call to listen, hear, look and see.

First, God said to look back: ‘You are not ephemeral folk! You have been hewn from a rock. You are people covenanted with God through Abraham into an unshakeable promise and faithful love. Look and see your long story of his mercy and goodness to you, even when you didn’t realise it.’

Now, listen and hear: there is an instruction. God’s teaching is coming to you, Israel. It is a light that must go out to display his righteousness to the nations and the distant islands, to the whole world. Your mission is to be the light-bearer. ‘See that light on the horizon? My salvation is hurrying to you, my strong arm is ready to deliver you’, God tells them (verse 5).

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Now, look ahead: ‘See what I have for you. There’s comfort, restoration, flourishing; there’s joy and gladness after your tears; there’s worship with thanksgiving, singing and new hope.’ ‘He will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the Lord’ (verse 3). What a vision for Israel! It’s a ‘season of clear shining’, a new perspective, seeing things through God’s light.

Our Lord continues to surprise us today as he calls us to look and see what he has done for us. ‘Take heart!’ he says, ‘it is finished!’ God’s salvation has come, and Jesus reigns victorious over sin, fear, doubt, every burden and even death itself. His Spirit moves among us with ‘healing in his wings’, reminding us of the faithful love of God, making us light-bearers of salvation, cheering our hearts and offering us a new perspective on every circumstance. We are called again to look and see and listen and hear the gracious word of God, with our hope grounded in Jesus in whom we live and on whom we can rely.

Lord Jesus, light of the nations, you have brought us into the clear shining of God’s presence, restoring and remaking us into your light-bearers and bringers of hope to our needy world. Continue to surprise us with your grace as we follow your call, seeing and hearing you as we live in your kingdom today, Amen.


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The post Listen and hear, look and see appeared first on Lutheran Church of Australia.

Source: Lutheran Church of Australia https://www.lca.org.au/listen-and-hear-look-and-see/

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