“Rooted in Movement: The Authors” by The Rev. Stephanie Kendell

March 31st,2022 Categories: Stephanie Kendell Letters, Weekly Letter
Beloved Friends,

I want to thank you all for your kindness and care for me this past week. We will find out next steps for healing in the coming week and am so grateful for all the ways you continue to lead with and for God and each other. Today’s newsletter is going to be shorter, with just the scripture and some guiding questions. In part, I hope that it models to you, that rest is part of the healing process, and that God is present through it all. I also hope that the questions keep you curious and are helpful as you seek God anew in this season. The ways in which we gather are meaningful and important to the ways we see God at work in the world and with that in mind, I hope that we see you in worship on Sunday at 11am and for Bible Study and Children’s worship as well.

This week’s passage is from one of my favorite books in the Bible, Isaiah. Do you have a favorite book of the Bible? For me, I love Isaiah because it shows us an active, engaged, and just God who is not only with us, but for us. A God that calls us into partnership as we write the story of our work and times together. The Book of Isaiah is a meaningful book from the Hebrew Bible and while it is easy for us as Christians to read it through the lens of Jesus, it is important to remember that the authors of Isaiah did not intend us as its audience. One of the things that I have always loved about this book is that it was a meaningful book in Jesus’s faith life and development as well. So, with all that in mind, knowing that we are rooted in both movement and resurrection, I Invite us to read this passage together and then consider the questions that follow.

1 Listen to me, all you that pursue righteousness,
all you that seek the AUTHOR OF LIFE.
Look to the rock from which you were hewn,
and to the quarry from which you were dug.
2 Look to Abraham your father,
and to Sarah who writhed-in-labor for you all;
he was just one when I called him,
but I blessed him and made him many.
3 For the GOD WHO SAVES has comforted Zion;
she has comforted all her waste places.
And she shall make her wilderness like Eden,
her desert like the garden of the CREATOR OF ALL;
joy and gladness will be found in her,
thanksgiving and the sound of song.
[Sorrow and mourning will flee away.]
4 Listen to me, my people,
and my nation, to me give heed;
for a teaching shall from me go forth,
and my justice for a light to the peoples.
I will do so suddenly.
5 My deliverance is near,
my salvation has gone forth
and my arms will govern the peoples;
for me the coastlands wait,
and upon my arm they await.
6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
and look to the earth below.
For the heavens like smoke will vanish,
the earth like a garment will wear out,
and those who live on it will die like gnats;
yet my salvation will be forever,
and my deliverance will never be broken.
7 Listen to me, you who know righteousness,
you people who have my teaching in your hearts;
fear not the reproach of others,
and when they revile you, do not be dismayed.
8 For like a garment a moth will devour them,
and like wool a worm will consume them;
yet my deliverance will be forever,
and my salvation to all generations.

Isaiah 51:1-8 (Year W)

  • What part do you play in authoring the story of your life?
  • What does “salvation” mean to you?
  • What do you think salvation meant to the intended audience of this passage?
  • This passage has a reference to a garden, what does the garden in this passage represent?
  • We don’t often see translations who name the women in our scriptures as part of the lineage of God’s work, what changes for us when we remember to name them?

Shalom Y’all
Rev. Stephanie

Simple Prayer: O God, prepare our hearts for all that is to come with the resurrection. Amen