For thousands of years people have been trying to say just the right things that will catch the imagination of those wanting to find the essence of life. That desire is the stuff of religions, communities, nations or at least small groups of people who hear what seems to make sense of things and thereby decide to follow the one who speaks that truth. In some cases it is the power of the voice or, in another, some inexplicable quality that emanates from within the person that causes others to sit up and take notice.
This morning I was awakened by the prophet Isaiah whom I could hear shouting: Up, Jerusalem! Stand upon the heights and see your children gathered from the east and the west at the word of the Holy One, rejoicing that they are remembered by God! Not only hearing but seeing, in the distance of my mind’s eye, throngs of people streaming across a great space from all directions and climbing toward the sun-drenched plateau of a mountain. The home of God was certainly present and waiting for them.
Just writing that paragraph, seeing that image, reminds me that we sometimes need imagination as well as fact to come to deeper knowing. Even the words we choose to express our experiences to others are important. The psalm for today (126) is full of emotions: our mouths filled with laughter! great things! filled with joy! dreaming! I can just see the happiness of people released from exile dancing their way home together.
But here are the words that resonate deep within my heart today as essential to the good of all people everywhere. May they be a guiding light for all of us. This is my prayer: that your love may increase ever more and more in knowledge and every kind of perception, to discern what is of value…(PHIL 1:8)