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Looking Ahead



Friends,

“Improbable conversations for people of faith and no faith at all – because talking politics wasn’t hard enough”

The above is a tagline for a community forum held in Tallahassee, FL called “Faith, Food, Friday.” The tagline appropriately makes light of the reality that religion and politics are two polarizing and challenging topics for us to talk about. It caught my eye the other day in the context of this season between Thanksgiving and Christmas that brings diverse groups of people together to celebrate and the spirited (is that too nice word to use?) conversations that can result.

Many of us would prefer to keep issues of God and issues of how we choose our leaders separate. Life feels neater that way. Interestingly, our text for this week, Isaiah 11:1-10, has something to say about this. In the passage Isaiah describes who God will raise up as leader. He outlines the qualities of both the leader and the leader’s rule.The above is a tagline for a community forum held in Tallahassee, FL called “Faith, Food, Friday.” The tagline appropriately makes light of the reality that religion and politics are two polarizing and challenging topics for us to talk about. It caught my eye the other day in the context of this season between Thanksgiving and Christmas that brings diverse groups of people together to celebrate and the spirited (is that too nice word to use?) conversations that can result.

In his commentary on this passage seminary professor John Oswalt writes that what we find in examining the Isaiah text closely is that world peace and true justice will not come from governance based on mutual self-interest but rather governance based on mutual commitment to God. In other words, how we relate to one another and choose to govern is directly related to our understanding of God and God’s Kingdom. It is only when we seek to serve with God’s heart rather than seeking to serve ourselves that we will realize the world as God created it to be. Naturally, that begins with seeking to understand God’s heart for the world.

How do we do that? Where do we begin? I’m excited to unpack this together on Sunday. You will find it helpful to read the Isaiah text ahead of time as you prepare for worship.

See you there,

Nic