Isaiah 65:1-9 (NRSV)
Chapter 65I was ready to be sought out by those who did not ask, to be found by those who did not seek me. I said, "Here I am, here I am," to a nation that did not call on my name. Verse 2I held out my hands all day long to a rebellious people, who walk in a way that is not good, following their own devices; Verse 3a people who provoke me to my face continually, sacrificing in gardens and offering incense on bricks; Verse 4who sit inside tombs, and spend the night in secret places; who eat swine's flesh, with broth of abominable things in their vessels; Verse 5who say, "Keep to yourself, do not come near me, for I am too holy for you." These are a smoke in my nostrils, a fire that burns all day long. Verse 6See, it is written before me: I will not keep silent, but I will repay; I will indeed repay into their laps Verse 7their iniquities and their ancestors' iniquities together, says the Lord; because they offered incense on the mountains and reviled me on the hills, I will measure into their laps full payment for their actions.
Verse 8Thus says the Lord: As the wine is found in the cluster, and they say, "Do not destroy it, for there is a blessing in it," so I will do for my servants' sake, and not destroy them all. Verse 9I will bring forth descendants from Jacob, and from Judah inheritors of my mountains; my chosen shall inherit it, and my servants shall settle there.
This week, we’ll contemplate God’s choice of us and how we choose to seek God. “Here I am” (v. 1) are the words, spoken or not, of someone eager to be chosen. I was usually the last child chosen for recess or gym class teams. Understandably, team captains didn’t seek me since I was very unlikely to contribute to a win! Each of us probably hasn’t been chosen for something we wanted, such as a desirable team, group, school, or job. It’s incredibly painful when we’re not sought out and chosen.
We don’t create the groups we seek, yet not being chosen by them is painful. It must be excruciating for God to not be chosen by God’s own creation! God called God’s children, but they didn’t seek or choose God. Nonetheless, God faithfully calls “Here I am” and, with hands held out “all day long” (v. 2), chooses us!
God, our Creator, thank you for choosing all of us! Help us to hear your faithful call and choose to joyfully respond as beloved children in your family. Amen.