Browsing articles tagged with " Isaiah"
Dec 11, 2011

Newt Year in Jerusalem

At the Republican Jewish Coalition debate the other day, Newt Gingrich declared: “So in a Gingrich administration, the opening day, there will be an executive order about two hours after the inaugural address; we will send the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as of that day.”

The Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995. Since 1998, the relocation of the embassy from Tel Aviv has been suspended by the sitting President semi-annually based on national security concerns as provided for in section 7 of the Act. Newt Gingrich obviously wants to stop this practice and finally enact the law.

“Arise, Jerusalem, and shine like the sun”, says the prophet in today’s reading Isaiah 60:1-22 and continues: “They will call you ‘The City of the LORD,’ ‘Zion, the City of Israel’s Holy God’.”


Dec 3, 2011

Gospel as News

Today’s Reading Isaiah 52:1-12 makes clear: “The gospel is not a theory or a doctrine or even a teaching; it is news: God is coming!” Read more of the reflection from

Dec 2, 2011

Sing to the LORD

Psalms are not limited to the Book of Psalms. You can virtually find them all over the Bible. Today in Isaiah 12 with an almost word-by-word quote from the song of Moses in Exodus 15. Praising God is a wonderful thing to do. What great things has God done in your life? What will you proclaim about God today?

Dec 1, 2011


Today’s Reading is from Isaiah 11:1-16. I preached about that on the Second Sunday of Advent in 2010. Please listen to my sermon titled “Peace”.

Oct 26, 2011

Swords to Plowshares

Many references are being made to this prophetic vision, e.g. Isaiah or Micah:
“He will settle disputes among the nations, among the great powers near and far. They will hammer their swords into plows and their spears into pruning knives. Nations will never again go to war, never prepare for battle again.”
The United Nations have a statue using this image:
Swords to Plowshares
Wikipedia has a list that shows the dual-use nature of technology, which does not always clearly convey the intention of the phrase nor how it is used today:
– Radar was initially developed for detection of incoming bombers
– The Global Positioning System (GPS) was developed under the United States Department of Defense for military navigational purposes.
– Roman roads were designed for the rapid transport of troops
– the Autobahn was originally conceived and put under construction as a means for German artillery to get across Europe during WWII.

May 24, 2011

Heavenly Mortality

Conventional wisdom has that one does not die in heaven. Well the biblical narratives are a little more complex than that. Today’s Reading Isaiah 65:17-25 describes the new Jerusalem to be full of joy, and her people will be happy. But they will still be people and they will still die: “Babies will no longer die in infancy, and all people will live out their life span. Those who live to be a hundred will be considered young. To die before that would be a sign that I had punished them.” It is just a better version of life not entirely unrelated to what we know and desire. Heaven is comprehensible!

May 23, 2011

Ancestors of Faith

Why does the prophet remind the people to remember their ancestors, Abraham and Sarah? What do you know about your ancestors? Have any of them had a significant influence on your life?
Today’s Reading is Isaiah 51:1-16.

May 22, 2011

God is unfair

“Before I was born, the LORD chose me”, before I could relate to God’s will in any way, God had already chosen to love me unconditionally. That is totally unthinkable for human relationships and totally unfair by our standards. But hey, God gets to set God’s standards, right?

People have always struggled with this unfair love of today’s reading Isaiah 49:1-26:
– In the fifth century Pelagius needed to be straightened out by Augustine.
– In America the debate has continued ever since.
– In Europe it was settled by the Leuenberg Agreement, 16 March 1973:
3. Predestination
24. In the Gospel we have the promise of God’s unconditional acceptance of sinful man. Whoever puts his trust in the Gospel can know that he is saved and praise God for his election. For this reason we can speak of election only with respect to the call to salvation in Christ.
25. Faith knows by experience that the message of salvation is not accepted by all; yet it respects the mystery of God’s dealings with men. It bears witness to the seriousness of human decision and at the same time to the reality of God’s universal purpose of salvation. The witness of the Scriptures to Christ forbids us to suppose that God has uttered an eternal decree for the final condemnation of specific individuals or of a particular people.
26. When such a consensus exists between churches, the condemnations pronounced by the Reformation confessions of faith are inapplicable to the doctrinal position of these churches.

May 21, 2011

What’s your name?

“I have called you by name—you are mine.” says the God of Israel in today’s reading Isaiah 43:1-21.
The same who said: “Do not use my name for evil purposes” (Exodus 20:7).
And the same who revealed God’s name to Moses: “I am who I am” (Exodus 3:14).
Allowing someone to use your name really gives them control over your identity. It weakens your position, you open your very self. If someone calls you names that may be easy to shrug off but if they use your actual name with it, it hurts even more.
Positively speaking: God introducing God’s self to Moses and all of us establishes a relationship of intimate trust: You are mine, I am yours, we belong together, no matter what.
Of all the people you see any given day at work, in the gym or shopping, how many do you know by name?

May 20, 2011

God’s people

What makes your people special?
In yesterday’s reading Israel was called God’s servant. Verses 1-7 of today’s reading Isaiah 42:1-25 comprise the first of four “servant songs” in the book of Isaiah. It culminates in the prophecy: “Through you I will make a covenant with all peoples; through you I will bring light to the nations.”
What is the calling that God has in mind for Americans, Germans and all the other peoples?