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February 7, 2021
Passage: Isaiah 40:21-31;1 Corinthians 9:16-23; Mark 1:29-39
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Remember. Remember who GOD IS. Remember what you learned on your grandmother’s lap. Remember what you’ve always known. Remember what GOD has done. See what GOD is doing.

Here is your GOD.

That’s the message we hear the prophet Isaiah proclaiming to the people of Israel. While they’re in exile in Babylon, far from their homeland.

Probably they’re questioning. What did we do wrong? Why are we here? Is our god not the real GOD? Should we be worshiping Babylonian gods?Where is our GOD? GOD no longer sees us – we’re hidden from GOD’s sight. GOD doesn’t care what happens to us. We hear hints of that in today’s reading.

This chapter is the beginning of the Book of Consolation in Isaiah. It opens with the familiar, wellloved words, “Comfort. O, comfort my people…” We can hear the tune in our mind’s ear. Isaiah continues, “Here is your GOD.” In your misery and doubt, GOD is here.

Remember? Look around you. Look up to the heavens. It is your GOD who created all of this – the stars and the moon, the land, the mountains and valleys, the rivers and seas. The most powerful rulers and men are like nothing compared to GOD. Their power will fade. They will grow old and die. But GOD never grows weary; and GOD will give you strength.

Remember. Remember who GOD is. GOD is the one who comes to the people of Israel in Jesus; to a people in exile in their own land, under occupation by the Roman Empire. Jesus comes and proclaims GOD’S kingdom – of Justice and Mercy; Love and Compassion. Jesus comes and heals the people and resists the forces of evil in their lives, casting out demons. He restores them to themselves and their lives and livelihoods, to their families and relationships, to their communities.

Jesus shows them, “Here is your GOD.” Your GOD is here with you. Remember? Remember what you know about your GOD. Remember what has GOD done, what GOD does. See what GOD is doing now! I remember the first time I went to worship in an Episcopal church and we all stood up and said the Creed. I had never gone to a church that did that and I was like, “Whoa! Wait a minute. Do I believe that? What do I believe?” Some weeks later, I was telling another parishioner about it and she was surprised. She had been saying the Creed in church since she was a little girl. She didn’t even think about the words or the significance of what she was saying anymore.

Sometimes, the familiar becomes like background noise. We don’t think about it or notice the meaning it may have in our own lives.

At the same time, it is often those familiar words that we know by rote that give us comfort and strength in times of desperation. I believe in GOD. I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe in the Holy Spirit. I believe my sins are forgiven. I believe in the Resurrection and the life everlasting. Our Father in heaven. Deliver us from evil. The Lord is my Shepherd. My cup runneth over. I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Here is our GOD. Remember? Remember who GOD is. See what GOD is doing.

If we believe that love and compassion, creativity and ingenuity, healing and mercy, knowledge and wisdom all are rooted in GOD, then look around, see GOD at work.

In those caring for and healing the sick, in the development of treatments and vaccines,

In every person who helps another with kindness and compassion for those who are ill or in need or feeling lonely or isolated.

In every person who limits their own activities, not only to avoid becoming ill, but to avoid unknowingly spreading the virus.

In every person who resists the evils of violence, injustice, racism, white supremacy or any of the other evils in this world.

Here is your GOD. Remember who GOD is – whether its from the Creed or the Psalms or the prophets or the healing, resistance, and proclamation of Jesus.

Remember the GOD you know.
Remember the GOD you trust.

And now, what will you do? How will you respond?

What is GOD inviting you to heal, to resist, to proclaim?