Scripture: Isaiah 46:1-13
Key verses: (3-4) “Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been borne by me from your birth, carried from the womb; even to your old age I am he, even when you turn grey I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save.”
Reflection: What are you carrying? Truly, stop right where you are and consider all that you are carrying, or try to remember all that you’ve carried so far today. Right now I’m fairly light, with just my glasses, watch, and keys. But so far through the day I’ve carried my backpack, a watering can, children, clothes, and books. What do you carry throughout your days? Sure we have different items we physically lug around, but we also have emotions, thoughts, and concerns that we carry with us. What have you been carrying lately emotionally? Do you take with you the worries of a child, or the concern of a relationship, the uncertainty of your health? All that we carry adds up, and sometimes we can feel overburdened, weighed down. Have you ever felt like you had the weight of the world on your shoulders?
In our passage for today, Isaiah is prophesying to the Israelites taken captive in Babylon. The people are surrounded by Babylonian idols made of wood, silver, and gold; watching the Babylonians carry these idols from the market place, to homes, to places of worship. I can only imagine the Israelites seeing all these idols carried by others and becoming tempted, tempted by the perceived power of the idol, tempted by the image, tempted by the status of carrying something shiny and weighty. All the while, the Israelites were carrying the baggage of being taken into exile, carrying questions of identity, carrying sorrow of a lost homeland, carrying burden of being a foreigner in a new land.
And yet, as Isaiah proclaims to the overburdened people, the answer is not to carry one more thing, to pick up some man made metal or wood, to hold on to an external marker of materialism, but instead to trust in God and allow yourself to be carried by God. Isaiah reminds the people of who they are and who God is, Isaiah reminds the people that it is God who created the world and all that is in it, that it is God who created them and would redeem them.
Today, may you hear the good news from Isaiah – for those who feel as though the weight of the world is on their shoulders, the one who made the world and all that is in it will in fact carry you. I love the maternal imagery of God in verses 3 and 4, may these words comfort and carry you throughout the day, letting go of all the burdens that you carry and trusting in God’s goodness. You “who have been borne by me from your birth, carried from the womb; even to your old age I am he, even when you turn grey I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save.”
Prayer: Creator God, when we feel overburdened by all that we carry may we find rest in you, who knit us in your womb and carries us in your loving embrace throughout all of our lives. Amen.
Author: John Magnuson
[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].