For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent. . . . I will not rest.” Isaiah’s vision of God’s kingdom (“kin-dom”) continues to inspire. In Luke 4:16-21 Jesus announces his own purpose as fulfilling Isaiah’s expectations of vindication, and he expresses the promise that salvation will prevail in communities of loving-kindness, health, and freedom from oppression and poverty.
What does this have to do with us? How do we help to establish the kin-dom? Can we also say, “For God’s sake I will not keep silent. I will not rest”? Or have we succumbed to what Pope Francis has called “spiritual Alzheimer’s disease”—the loss of memory of our first encounters with God? Often, individual and collective passion for the vision dies from neglect and/or suffocation, rather than through major crises of faith. Over time, the little things deplete us of energy for God’s plan: sleep deprivation, failure to find daily time with God, overeating, becoming too physically and mentally comfortable, resistance to necessary change.
Sometimes a cluttered lifestyle suffocates spiritual vitality: too much to do at work and at home; too much entertainment —sports, music, media, games, hobbies, exercise; too much collecting of unnecessary information; too much interest in what others are doing.
All of these things in moderation are fun, relaxing, even stress-relieving. Some promote health and well-being. But they can also become addictive distractions that turn our thoughts and actions from our relationship with God. Our activities may keep us silent and give us so much rest that our spiritual muscles turn to flab. Then we lose the energy we once had “for Zion’s sake.”
Dear God, startle me into renewed energy for your work. Wake me from my spiritual drowsiness. May I not neglect my relationship with you. Amen.