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Book: Isaiah

Jesus and the Economics of Scarcity

While even his closest associates would lean towards dismissing the people to fend for themselves, [Jesus] invites the community of the wilderness into a divine economy of care. Sharing, as a physical manifestation of that care, requires a suspension of the belief that scarcity is the only reality available in the moment of want.

Nostalgia and Politics

Embodying the best of the prophetic tradition, the text encourages us to consider that religion, in fact, does have functions: liberation, feeding the hungry, inviting vulnerable strangers into our homes, and undoing injustice.

The Prophetic Politics of Epiphany

Matthew’s careful quotation of Isaiah 60 urges us to perceive that the birth of the poor, brown boy in a back corner of the Roman empire was the dawning of God’s glory upon humanity. Let us, then, celebrate—not with fear and self-preservation, but with confident investment in human flourishing.

The Perfect World Is Not A Utopian Nightmare

The greatest potential implication of Isaiah 11:1–10 lies in the way it disrupts our expectations of justice, equality, and peace by framing of our narratives of the perfect society and unsullied nature. Rather than Utopia, the passage offers us a vision of a perfectly imperfect world order in absolute harmony.

Resistance in the ‘In-Between’

Advent is the season between the comings, the space of absence in which we await the Divine visitation. Might it also be a space of resistance, wherein we reimagine our identities and, in so doing, perhaps even become the kind of presence in the world we so desire?

Political Hypocrisy and True Ritual—Isaiah 1:1, 10–20

True ritual is a searching indictment of all injustice, a corrective for it, and a model for righteous behavior. Presenting ourselves before God in our ceremonies, we invite his inspection of the entirety of our lives; recognizing this fact, we must comport ourselves accordingly in all that we do. Civil religion and cultural religiosity will betray all those who put their hope in them.

The Good News in Judgment—Isaiah 6:1–13

Isaiah’s call to prophesy judgment against Israel challenges us to remember God’s sovereignty over all political systems, even those that are disastrous in our eyes. Could God’s judgment be the decisive turning point toward healing?

Giving Strength—Psalm 29

Bookended by the call to ascribe glory and strength to the Lord, and the answering request that the Lord give strength and blessing to his people, Psalm 29 offers us a vision of good rule.

The Politics of Victimhood and Shame—Mark 8:27-38 and Isaiah 50:4-9a

“Victimhood culture” has swept our nation in recent years where victimhood has become an identity to be ashamed of. However, Jesus teaches his followers to bear their victimhood without shame, just as he bore his own without shame.

Healing the Broken Social Body—Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23; James 2:1-10, 14-17; Isaiah 35:4-7a; Mark 7:24-37

How is the riven social body, with its divisions between poor and rich, to be healed?

“Here Am I; Send Me!”—Isaiah 6:1-8

Isaiah the prophet received his call; we must be prepared to receive ours.

In the Time of King Herod—Isaiah 60:1-6; Matthew 2:1-12 (Amy Allen)

Epiphany is a story of a baby who, in the time of King Herod, despite all the principalities and powers that continue to overpower and oppress in our world, offers a different hope.