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Daily reading: 5 December

The text becomes a mirror.

Something to read

I will turn my hand against you; I will smelt away your dross as with lye and remove all your alloy.

Isaiah 1:25 from full reading Isaiah 1: 24-31

Something to think about

Oh my! Reading Third Isaiah is so much easier than his first book, isn’t it? With its emphasis on restoration and a new heaven and new earth? So much easier than all that woe!

Maybe part of the problem in reading the critical prophetic voice is that it causes us to wince a little as the text becomes a mirror. It’s easier to see fault in others, write a witty tweet and then run for cover. It’s far harder to look at ourselves and have some of the contributory factors causing world poverty and environmental destruction staring right back.

Of course, we don’t need an actual person to be our prophet of woe these days. Turtles choking on plastic, parched river beds and powerful mud slides all provide a voice for a hurting world. And if we can’t read the signs, then we always have Sir David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg to explain them to us.

Tough though it is to listen and accept responsibility, it is necessary. For while writing letters to banks is important, unless we all change we will not see that new world emerging.

Something to do

What ‘dross’ do you need to remove from your life today? Do it.

Something to pray

Lord of forgiveness, I find it hard to search out my faults and harder to have them searched out by others and by you.

Give me humility and pour your forgiving grace upon that necessary process.

Amen.

Today’s contributor is Dyfed Wyn Roberts. Dyfed works for Christian Aid in Wales. He has a PhD in church history and is a keen photographer.