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All Earth is Hopeful - December 7

Isiah 5:1-7

5 I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard: My loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside. 2 He dug it up and cleared it of stones and planted it with the choicest vines. He built a watchtower in it and cut out a winepress as well. Then he looked for a crop of good grapes, but it yielded only bad fruit.

3 “Now you dwellers in Jerusalem and people of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard. 4 What more could have been done for my vineyard than I have done for it? When I looked for good grapes, why did it yield only bad? 5 Now I will tell you what I am going to do to my vineyard: I will take away its hedge, and it will be destroyed; I will break down its wall, and it will be trampled. 6 I will make it a wasteland, neither pruned nor cultivated, and briers and thorns will grow there. I will command the clouds not to rain on it.”

7 The vineyard of the Lord Almighty is the nation of Israel, and the people of Judah are the vines he delighted in. And he looked for justice, but saw bloodshed; for righteousness, but heard cries of distress.

Sometimes words to a song just capture an experience and allow us to share in it, to hear it with your hearts. Isaiah 5 begins, “I will sing for the one I love, a song about his vineyard:” The prophet hopes for us to hear the heart of God. Really, the Season of Advent is very much about preparing us to receive the word of the prophets and the very heart of God. Can you get into the rage and disbelief the vineyard owner feels as the grapes that have been given every chance to produce a great varietal will do nothing but produce wild-fruitlessness? If you can perceive or imagine the rage that overtakes the owner, then perhaps you will be ready for what God feels. But more, we might then also perceive the unexpected wonder of what God will do next to finally bring about the varietal that will delight the eyes, tickle the nose, dance upon the tongue and create a heartfelt experience that all is right, well, good and beautiful.

A good wine is like this dream of God; it is made with great art. It makes you smile as it is poured for decanting as it fills your nose will an abundant richness. As it fills the glass it is beautiful to behold - rich in color, viscosity and fullness. When it’s aroma fills your nose just before it dances across your tongue, all manner of flavors, joys, visions and beauty play across every sense you have causing your imagination to dream great dreams and lofty heights.

This story (song) from Isaiah 5 prepares the hearer for the wonder, majesty and wisdom with which God will act in the coming (Advent) time when Justice and Mercy will be decanted and poured out for all flesh to see, to smell, to behold, to received and to produce within themselves. The zeal of the Lord will accomplish this (Is 9:7, Is 37:32).

Lord, may we prepare ourselves to receive the new thing you are preparing to accomplish among us, allow us to drink it in, celebrate its beauty and fill our hearts and minds upon your cultivation of Justice and mercy in the world. Come, Lord Jesus!

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