Prayer: Lord of our going out and our coming in, watch over us today. Help us to continue to find your path for us and follow you faithfully until that great day when we are with you forever. Amen.
Reading: Isaiah 35 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: There is a comical Norman Rockwell painting “Going and Coming” (1947)* which depicts a family going and coming back home on a vacation trip. If you have ever had a fast paced or schedule packed vacation trip, you get the joke. We do have two sets of expressions headed to where we want to go and headed back and away from where we were. Everything on the return trip looks a bit deflated. Yes, vacations are a great bit of fun, but they do also take a lot of energy out of you. Or, sometimes it is just the overall feeling that the fun is over and it is time to head back to real life.
Isaiah has something very different in mind. When the ransomed return home, the trip will be joyful, glorious, fun and full of healing and brokenness made whole. The “holy highway” leads only to God and only the holy can travel on it.
So whatever kind of day you are having or whatever vacation you are planning, know that even better days are ahead of us when we all return home.
*Copyright of linked image: Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), Going and Coming, 1947. Oil on canvas, 16" x 31 1/2". Cover illustration for The Saturday Evening Post, August 30, 1947. Norman Rockwell Art Collection Trust, 1973.15. ©SEPS: Curtis Publishing, Indianapolis, IN
Photograph from Norman Rockwell Museum Digital Collections. ©Norman Rockwell Family Agency. All rights reserved.