O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord! (Isaiah 2:5)
It’s Monday morning and I am still on the eagle’s wing. You people ministered to me so deeply yesterday. First, you were there. Every time you come you are an answer to prayer. Then you sang. O, how you sang, morning and evening! I trembled behind the pulpit. Then you were still and hushed — what I have come to know as “loud silence.” And it seemed to say, “Come, Holy Spirit, come!”
Then you listened. A listening people is a preacher’s love song. Then you lingered and spoke kind words to each other. In Germany the church we attended cleared in five minutes. At Bethlehem the poor custodians have to run the people out hours after the service is ended. I bless the Lord for a lingering people. Heaven will reveal what personal needs are met in all these conversations.
And finally, you were moved. Some of you to tears. We are on the brink of something remarkable when we can be touched with tears. “Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to dejection. Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you” (James 4:9–10). Let us never short-circuit God’s path to exaltation. “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning” (Psalm 30:5). Thank you for being tender-hearted!
Now this morning with all this weight of glory still on me, I was praying my way through Isaiah 1 and 2. Isaiah’s yearning for the people of Israel came onto my lips and into my heart, and it became my yearning for Bethlehem. They seem to be the words of a man who had been lost in a dense forest. Then he stumbles onto a beautiful pathway leading out into a gorgeous field of yellow daisies. Sunlight blankets the field as far as he can see and warms the skin while the cool spring breeze blows. He turns back to the woods where others are still lost, eating bark and roots, sick from dampness. And he cries aloud, “O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord!”