Clay and its Potter
Surely these prophecies continue to speak to us because of the ethical imperatives they embody, their cries for social justice, their hopeful visions of a future of harmony after all the anguish inflicted through historical violence. But they also engage us through the power and splendor of the poetry. Perhaps the Israelites who clung to the parchment records of these sundry prophecies in the seventh and sixth centuries B.c.E. cherished them not only because they saw in them the urgent word of God but also because they somehow sensed that these were great poems.
~The Hebrew Bible: A Translation and Commentary, by Robert Alter
The Isaiah passage appointed for today, Isaiah 64. 1 - 9, reminds us of why we came to be known as "the people walking in darkness!"
Verse 4 - 6 say,
But you were angry, and we sinned; because you hid yourself we transgressed.
We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth.
That is truly living in darkness. However later in the appointed reading, we are reminded of the relationship between Creator and Created...God is the potter and we are the clay. As Robert Alter says, the language of Isaiah is splendid poetry as well as a hopeful reminder of future harmony.
As I reflect on the potter above, I am reminded of the power of the hands of God to mold and shape me as a beloved child of God...and unfortunately how often I forget the power of those hands.
The offering from CCCA this morning focuses on the beginning passages of Isaiah with some extraordinary art and music to depict the darkness from which the people of God were redeemed. Enjoy (if you can) the art and the music, but don't forget to give thanks for the great gift of the Potter whose mighty hands have molded and shaped us to belovedness.
The link below will take you to the CCCA site for more reading between the lines of Isaiah.