Shaped by God
There is no one who calls upon your name, who rouses himself to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have made us melt in the hand of our iniquities. But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. (Isaiah 64:7-8)
Friday, After the Holy Trinity
Remember, O Lord, those who bear your name, have mercy on us all according to the multitude of Your loving-kindness; fill their lives with good things; preserve their marriages in peace and love; take care of their little ones; lead their youth; give strength to the aged; comfort the timid and afraid; bring home the scattered, restore those who have erred; and unite them all in Your One Holy universal and apostolic Church. Deliver those who are troubled by unclean spirits; go with all travelers; protect the widow, shelter the orphan, deliver those who work in dangerous places; and those in prison, distress or poverty, or any kind of trouble. Remember all who stand in need of Your mercy; those that love us; those that hate us; those who desire our prayers, unworthy though we be to offer them to You. Remember, O Lord, all Your people, and pour upon them an abundance of Your goodness, granting all their prayers unto salvation. All those whom we have not remembered through ignorance or forgetfulness, call to mind, O God, who knows the name of each even from their mother’s womb. For You, O Lord, are the Helper of the helpless; the Hope of the homeless, the Savior of the tempest-tossed, the Harbor of the voyager, and the Physician of the sick. Be all things to all Your children; for You know them all, their prayers, their dwellings, and their minds. Amen.
In these days of turmoil and disease, it causes us all to think more deeply about our relationship with God. We are in God’s hands. Is God calling us back? Has the world forsaken him long enough that He is now getting our attention? Have we been living self-deceived lives for too long? Have we been content with our own agendas, without paying attention to the One who knit us together in our mother’s womb and who shapes our lives with his hands?
Today I invite you to pray. Pray for the repentance of our nation. Pray for a return to God. Pray for an end to violence and sin of every kind. And pray for God to bring about a change in your own hearts.
The prophet Isaiah was speaking to ancient Israel, calling them back to repentance. Yet they wouldn’t listen. They thought their own actions were perfectly fine. They were the ones calling the shots, not God. They justified their own actions, while they made sport of the people God sent to speak truth into their lives. They were resistant to the Cure as well as the Cure-Giver.
God has ways of dealing with a wayward nation and a people who turn away from him. For God’s ancient people, God threw them into an exile in a foreign land. Through that trying experience God reshaped them, like a potter reshaping a clay vessel. Martin Luther once commented about this in his Lectures on Isaiah, “We are in the hand of God, and even though we are evil, He thrusts us into the lump, into a Babylonian captivity, until the clay has been worked through better so that it becomes more pleasing. Then it will become a new lump.”
It’s something to consider. Is God reshaping his world? There is no doubt. But a bigger question is this: Are we turning away from our sin and crying out for him to reshape our lives to his glory?
May it be so by the transforming power of Christ,
Pastor Langdon Reinke