Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Isaiah 60:1-6

Epiphany - Year C

Isaiah 60:1-6

What is this “glory” that revives a community? Here is an overly simple response — an ability to look up and look around.

We tend to be so focused on survival needs (sometimes beyond survival, as in climbing some proverbial ladder to success that always needs a ladder extension) that our nose to the grindstone precludes an ability to look up. These are in some sense mutually exclusive and any contortion to have them be simultaneous only hurts. Imagine the old workaholic mantra actually being accurate: “Keep your feet on the ground, your head above the clouds, your nose to the grindstone, your shoulder to the wheel, your finger on the pulse, your eye on the ball and your ear to the ground.”

Basic to keeping up with the continual changes of life is an ability to look up from our preoccupations and expectations and to look around at the consequences of our past decisions and evaluate what still needs doing. This looking will clear our cobwebs (clouds), allow persistence in the face of discouragement (grindstones), inform where force can be applied to an appropriate lever set on a fulcrum again a blockage (wheels), evaluate the health of a whole system in the face of a temptation to dissect (pulses), attend to details that bring a vision to fruition (balls), and attend to what is coming as well as what is already present (ground of being).

Starting anywhere else than looking up and looking around turns clouds, grindstones, wheels, pulses, balls, and ground into a hammer that sees everything as a nail. These all play their part but are only parts to a larger, more unified process.

Wisdom, down through the generations, counsels appreciation of verses 4-5:
look up—>look around—>thrill and rejoice—>abundance is present—>share—>proceed.


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