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CALL : +685 24414
FAX 20429
5th Floor John Williams Building
Tamaligi, Apia

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Thursday 12 December
We're all in it together

 

Read Isaiah 59:9–15a
Like the blind we grope along the wall, feeling our way like people without eyes. At midday we stumble as if it were twilight; among the strong, we are like the dead. (verse 10)

Today’s reading follows straight on from yesterday’s, but there is a change. Instead of ‘they’, the prophet talks about ‘we’. To portray the effect of turning from God, he describes the people as blind, weak and helpless. Truth, he says, has ‘stumbled in the streets’ (verse 14).

It’s easy to blame other people for the things they do wrong. But the prophet is wiser than that. He realises that when there is a culture of godlessness, in which wrongdoing is routine, everyone risks being infected by it. At the very least, it’s harder to do the right thing if you’re the only one. And so he says ‘we’ because he’s involved too.

Whether it’s financial or sexual ethics, behaviour at work or in personal relationships, there’s always a prevailing tone that can be healthy and righteous, or damaged and damaging. Furthermore, when the culture is dark – tearing people down rather than building them up, seeking personal advantage rather than the good of others – it can be hard to see it. It’s just normal – it’s what people do. And standing against that culture can leave  someone exposed to the hostility of those who gain by it – ‘whoever shuns evil becomes a prey’ (verse 15).

So this passage tells us two things. It tells us not to be judgemental of the people among whom we live. It’s ‘we’, not ‘them’. And it warns us to be discerning. It may be dark all around, but we are children of light.

† God, forgive me if I have looked down on people because of their sins, and not recognised my own; and help me to stand up for what’s right, even when it’s hard.