Scripture: Isaiah 41:1-16
Key verses: ( 7-10a)
7 The artisan encourages the goldsmith,
and the one who smooths with the hammer encourages the one who strikes the anvil,
saying of the soldering, “It is good”;
and they fasten it with nails so that it cannot be moved.
8 But you, Israel, my servant,
Jacob, whom I have chosen,
the offspring of Abraham, my friend;
9 you whom I took from the ends of the earth,
and called from its farthest corners,
saying to you, “You are my servant,
I have chosen you and not cast you off”;
10 do not fear, for I am with you,
do not be afraid, for I am your God.
Reflection: Today has been a noisy day at the church. Noisy in a different way than usual. It was a snow day from school, so the noises were not the usual sounds of children from the Weekday School in our Welcome Center, hallways and classrooms. Instead, there were crews here working on the building. Fire alarms were tested and tweaked. (They sound like they work REALLY well, let me assure you!) Another crew is here changing some of our office doors from solid wood, to a glazed window, so we will comply with our Child and Youth Protection policies more easily. The workers were quick, and apologetic, but their task involved necessary banging and hammering, with more to come.
As I sit at my computer, I am thankful for the noise, for two main reasons. First, this Psalm reminds me to be thankful for the gifts of those whose talents are different than mine. They are artisans, these crews that move through our building. They work on systems I don’t understand, but from which I benefit. They use their God-given gifts in their own way, as I do, on a good day. When they come back again, instead of grumbling, I plan to say of their craft, “It is good.”
Second, I am thankful for the intention behind their noisy work. Having a safe church, where we are committed to careful policies that protect children, staff, members and volunteers, matters. Ultimately, it helps us live the way the Psalm has God suggest: Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God. May we all remember to use our gifts, and trust in God.
Prayer: Holy One, thank you for the myriad of gifts you bestow on your children. For those who work with their hands, for those who work with their heads, for those who work with their hearts, for all your children, we say thanks. Help us all care for one another, and trust in you for our ultimate safety. Amen.
Author: Julie Hester
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].