Isaiah 62:1-5 (NRSV)
Chapter 62For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until her vindication shines out like the dawn, and her salvation like a burning torch. Verse 2The nations shall see your vindication, and all the kings your glory; and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will give. Verse 3You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. Verse 4You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate; but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her, and your land Married; for the Lord delights in you, and your land shall be married. Verse 5For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your builder marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.
Our daughter is pretty much royalty at our house. Dresses, play jewelry and "diadems" are part of her play. It's easy (we hope) for her to see our delight in her when she's delightful, and delighted. It's much harder for her to see this when she's a sad, tired, overwhelmed wreck. It's in the times when her little world is collapsing that she needs to know that she is still beautiful to us, that we still delight in her.
Isaiah's words are to a disheartened people whose lives feel like a wreckage and whose home feels like a wasteland. The words bring to my mind images of the aftermath of California fires and fall hurricanes. Lives and locales, desolate and forsaken. Isaiah brings loud, restless promise to wreckage and wastelands: "I will not keep silent … I will not rest, until her vindication shines out like the dawn" (62:1).
Feel forsaken? Desolate? Look up: God will delight in you, is coming to you, rejoices over you.
Make yourself heard in our lives, God, and turn our wreckages into rejoicing. Amen.