The prophet Isaiah brings a message from God, reminding the Israelites that the god he speaks of is the only God. Isaiah challenges the people to embrace his message. There’s a sense of parenthood in the Good News Bible’s version of this passage, “Do not be afraid, my people!” (verse 8)
God knows that change incites fear. Even the people of Israel had trouble believing it much of the time. They would just as soon go on with their old ways that were familiar. Not all their old ways were necessarily bad, but their worship was askew. God challenges them to a new way of thinking and acting that would be better.
We’re a lot like them. Old ways are comforting because we’re familiar with them, especially when the landscape around us is changing. We’re cautious and fearful of what change will mean and don’t always recognize that the old way isn’t working so well anymore. We, too, are challenged to find a new path, one that will honour God and still allow us to worship and spread the good news.
Loving God, we come, often seeking help. Calm our fears in the middle of our changing church and help us to understand how best to worship you and spread your good news. Amen. — CRW