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Tag: Isaiah

Redemption as Creation in the Cosmic Empire

In casting the return from exile as a new exodus, Second Isaiah activates an ambiguity in an ancient poem in light of new political realities.

Looking for Seeds amid Stumps

The political message of the ambiguous reference to a stump in Isaiah 6 might lie not in the text itself but rather in the history of its redaction.

The Prophet, Pigmentation, and Pottersville

When we think about Christmas, do we associate it with charity or justice? Christmas certainly appears to be associated with charity in our larger culture. In contrast, Isaiah 9:2–7 reminds us that the lectionary readings for the season consistently focus on justice.

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.

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.

God’s Generous Invitation—Isaiah 55:1–9

We are called to proclaim God’s word in such a way that we offer a nourishing alternative to the scarcity that all too often is dished up by our capitalistic, technologically-obsessed, and media-saturated society. As the People of God we are called to proclaim a new world order, one characterized by abundance and joy, by justice and lovingkindness, without any restrictions, without any boundaries.

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?

“Here Am I; Send Me!”—Isaiah 6:1-8

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

The Politics of Giving Hope—Isaiah 51:1-6 (Fritz Wendt)

No matter how established we may think we are in this life, we are always on the way to another. To steady our step and to guide our path, we need to practice hope.

The Politics of Sentinels—Isaiah 52:7-10 (Alastair Roberts)

A competent sentinel must be vigilant, alert to and able to read the faintest signs upon a distant horizon, perceiving the most miniscule of details and discerning their greater import when they finally appear. In the opening chapters of both Matthew and Luke, we encounter a series of watchers and signs, presented in part as examples to the readers of the gospels in their own watching.

The Politics of Hope and Justice—Isaiah 7:10-16; Matthew 1:18-25 (Jan Rippentrop)

Transformation begins by inspiring—by breathing in—hope. Only then can we exhale justice. In ‘Immanuel’, God’s sign of hope for a desperate world, we find the means by which we can pursue justice.