Study from Bible Reading Fellowship “New Daylight” daily readings
Contributed by Sally Welch, parish priest UK and Editor of “New Daylight”.
Start with an opening prayer
Take my Life
Isaiah 42:5-9 (NRSV)
“Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people upon it and spirit to those who walk in it: I am the lord, I have called you in righteousness, I have taken you by the hand and kept you; I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations, to open the eyes that are blind to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness. I am the Lord, that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to idols. See, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth, I tell you of them.”
(Sally Welch) Writing these reflections has caused me to think a lot about my own calling – how it emerged and how I have walked in it. For that is what Isaiah is prompting us to do, isn’t it? He’s calling out to each one of us, reminding us of the greatness of the God that we serve, of God’s incredible love for each one of us and the precious nature of the covenant he has made with us, his people.
We have been cherished, protected, guided, encouraged. We have been reminded of our obligations to God and to each other. And we have also been reminded of the consequences when we forget our obligations and fail to value God’s covenant. But most of all we have been called – to serve God in whatever way we can, to celebrate his glory and to work for his kingdom.
What inspiring words we read here! What challenges we are given! What a responsibility! As we reflect on our own journey, we can look back to the “former things” in which we can play a part, fulfilling our calling as “a light to the nations”.
1. If you are reading this and thought “A calling! I’m too old for that!” remember those we see in the scriptures who questioned God when he gave them their callings. Moses – “I’m no good at speaking”, Isaiah — “I’m too sinful”, Jeremiah — “I’m too young”. Yet they were all used by God in the end.
2. But not everybody is called to be a Moses etc, a Billy Graham or a Mother Teresa. Not everyone is called to the clergy or a missionary.
Can you name others who were used in small ways or on single occasions in the scriptures?
3. Remember Anna the prophetess and remember her great age. She saw Jesus when he was only 8 days old, Luke 2:37 tells us “she never left the Temple and worshipped night and day, fasting and praying”.
Every one of every age can pray anywhere. We don’t need to use spiritual words and fancy phrases. We only need to ask the Holy Spirit to put names and incidents into our minds and he will give us the words. What a tremendous calling that is for us.
4. What other actions could be called a “calling”? in these difficult times. Ringing lonely people? Can you think of other ways?
5. Looking at Frances Havergal’s famous hymn let us take that home with us today remembering her words. Let us pray for those “younger ones” who are working very hard to keep churches going in Covid times.
Please finish with prayer.
If you would like to read the scriptures mentioned in this study you can find them in
Isaiah 6:4-10, and
Luke 2:36-38 (Anna)
Bible Study 6/29-09-21