Sunday, June 30, 2019

Call to Fast, Pray, and Read: Week One

Paul Ratje/AFP/Getty Images
The invitation arrived last Sunday announcing a six-week intention to fast, pray, read
From June 24 to August 4 seeking The Will Of God
     During this season of disaffiliation, these collective interventions feel like the appropriate call

After joining the witness list, I began the assigned lesson: Isaiah 40-66

The Book of the Prophet Isaiah, Chapter 40, Verse One

First word: παρακαλείτε
     Looks like parakeet
     Sounds like Paraclete, which looks like
          παράκλητος, which is sometimes translated
          Derived from
     παρα--  As in Close Beside
     καλέω-- As in Make a Call
                As if being close to the situation, the legal advisor makes the correct call and the client is  
          Sometimes symbolized as a White Dove or as a Red Flame
     Never to my knowledge as a parakeet, a species of parrot with a potential lifespan of twenty
             years unless living in pet confinement, in which case the average lifespan is cut by three-
                 One Part)      Inadequate Nutrition
                 Two Parts)    Poor Hygiene
                 Three Parts)  Cages

     Echoed in the final word of the first pericope: παρακαλέσει
As if Isaiah’s God is like a shepherd who comforts the pregnant ewes
        by advocating for a healthy diet and a safe shelter and the freedom to rest in green meadows and
        wander beside tranquil waters and then goes on to help them realize these rights

The first word of the prophecy is comfort.  The last word of the prophecy is comfort.
     As in, the Church called into being by the Paraclete will worship Isaiah’s God, and every one of its members will be close beside the comfortless, and its leaders will all teach the lesson that helping those in need of advocates is an act of worship, and this witness, spoken and lived, will distress the comfortable, who will confess and repent and will become a legal power that makes the correct call and protects the vulnerable, or they will leave the Church of Isaiah’s God and find a congregation that is not so distressing to their status quo.

Thus ends the first week of discernment.