But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.
I give Egypt as your ransom,
Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you.
Because you are precious in my sight,
and honoured, and I love you,
I give people in return for you,
nations in exchange for your life.
Do not fear, for I am with you;
I will bring your offspring from the east,
and from the west I will gather you;
I will say to the north, ‘Give them up’,
and to the south, ‘Do not withhold;
bring my sons from far away
and my daughters from the end of the earth—
everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.’
Isaiah 43 is spoken to a remnant who remain in Israel when many are exiled. It is a word of comfort, a word of compassion, a word of love.
It is a word of love to a broken people, a word of affirmation to the scarred and defeated. It reminds us that in a world that is both broken and beautiful, God sees the beauty and loves us. It is a word of love to the victims of empire, the lost, the hopeless.
In a world where we remain broken by war and violence, by injustice and inequity, by hatred and intolerance we hear the declaration of God. "You are precious, you are honoured, and I love you."
flows like a stream
into the ocean of your Grace.
encircles this world,
displays your faithfulness.
is patient and kind,
brings wholeness and true peace.
is all we desire
to heal our brokenness.
As all things pass
and fade away