A Daily Dose of Good News
Monday, May 3, 2021
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Good morning! It’s May 3 and it’s time for our Daily Dose of Good News which is from Isaiah 5:1-7. I’d like you to listen closely to the beginning of this text, particularly the first two verses.
Let me sing for my beloved
my love-song concerning his vineyard:
My beloved had a vineyard
on a very fertile hill.
He dug it and cleared it of stones,
and planted it with choice vines;
he built a watchtower in the midst of it,
and hewed out a wine vat in it;
he expected it to yield grapes,
but it yielded wild grapes.
And now, inhabitants of Jerusalem
and people of Judah,
judge between me
and my vineyard.
What more was there to do for my vineyard
that I have not done in it?
When I expected it to yield grapes,
why did it yield wild grapes?
And now I will tell you
what I will do to my vineyard.
I will remove its hedge,
and it shall be devoured;
I will break down its wall,
and it shall be trampled down.
I will make it a waste;
it shall not be pruned or hoed,
and it shall be overgrown with briers and thorns;
I will also command the clouds
that they rain no rain upon it.
For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts
is the house of Israel,
and the people of Judah
are his pleasant planting;
he expected justice,
but saw bloodshed;
but heard a cry!
And I think on first glance, we can read that and be troubled with the ending of that. Where the Lord removes the Lord’s protection and allows for further destruction to occur, that the wild boars are going to go get a that vineyard and it’s going to be trampled down. That God’s going to command even the rain clouds, not to rain on it.
But do you notice the beginning of the story? The beginning of the story is about the tenderness and love of God, who does the work to clear the vineyard, and remove the stones, and pick the choicest vines, the best vines. This is a God who picks the best variety, the best species to plant, the best of the best, and nurtures it. Yet it doesn’t go the way God wanted. I think that’s helpful for us to remember. Because sometimes we can say to ourselves or to each other: why did God let this happen? Well, we have our own free will. We can choose to stay nurtured in God’s loving care, which is faithful and continuous. Or we can make other choices which then yield bad results, that we don’t want. I think what’s maybe helpful, is to recognize that God does love us, wants us near, and does everything to clear the way for that to happen. But our choices are what changes the situation.
Our alignment with God is what impacts how things go for us. I think that’s good news- because it’s recognizing that our God will always take us back. Our God will always, if we return to God, nurture us again. So it’s not that we’re helpless in the situation, because that would be bad news. It’s that we are aligned with a God who can command the rain clouds. That’s the kind of power our God has. Our God wants to nurture us, and spends time, energy and effort to do that. So if we turn our hearts towards God, and return to God, God wants a beautiful vineyard. God will tend to us, love us, cherish us and nurture us. If we choose not to, when we choose to stay growing as wild grapes, and we decide we’re more interested in bloodshed, than righteousness, then the results are not going to be good, and God explains that. So it’s not a surprise. The good news is we have free will, so we can with our free will, choose to align ourselves back to God, the God who loves us. The God who builds a watchtower in our space, to be near us, and look over us. The God who tenderly wants the best for us, and is saddened and angry when we make choices that don’t work out for our best, because God truly wants our best. That’s good news. Know how much the God you serve, loves you. Know how much our God wants to care for you, beckons you and urges you to turn back, and desires that. And sure, you can make your own choices, you have free will. The results aren’t going to yield what you want. But if you choose to align your heart and mind with God, and if you choose to stay in God’s presence, there’s going to be a beautiful vineyard. So it’s the chance to align your heart today, and focus on God in the midst of things, so that you may flourish. It’s good news that your God loves you so much, and is a tender and gentle gardener, who create the ability for you to flourish in God’s presence. Have a great day, everybody. Bye-bye.