With Great Compassion I Will Gather You

This meditation is based on a passage for December 28, 2010 in the Daily Lectionary Year 1 from the Book of Common Worship for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (1993).

Text: Isaiah 54:13-23

Reflection and Question: Along with Hosea, Jeremiah and Ezekiel, Isaiah uses the image of the unfaithful wife to capture Israel’s betrayal of God that leads to the destruction of Jerusalem and the exile. At the same time, all of these prophets testify to God’s grace in forgiving the people and God’s initiative to restore the covenant on a foundation of love expressed by both God and the people. This chapter in Isaiah is an extended description of this shift from God as the aggrieved husband to God’s great compassion and all it will mean for Zion. How has God gathered you in compassion?

For even if the mountains walk away and the hills fall to pieces,
My love won’t walk away from you, my covenant of peace won’t fall apart.
The God who has compassion on you says so.
(Eugene Peterson, The Message, p.1316)