“Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean. Remove the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, learn to do good. Seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow” (Isaiah 1:16-17).
“Isaiah was a realist. Though he was convinced of the truth of his message, he expected the people to be able to hear the message the first time, but not necessarily able to understand its importance and follow it readily. Old habits are not easily changed.”
“Much like the Israelites, we also find our ears are dulled to the message. That is why Isaiah comes to us. Isaiah intends to be our hearing aid. Isaiah wishes to help us perceive the silent sigh, to amplify the message that is an octave too high, and bring it down to a level to which we can not only hear it, but also pay attention to it in a way that will call us to action.”
“Isaiah's warning is not meant to be depressing, but inspirational. He notes that IF we can hear the message to act in a good and just manner, we can turn the course of our world around. By learning to do good, devoting ourselves to justice, and looking out for those who cannot look out for themselves, we can find our world transformed. Only when we transform our hearing into understanding and action, can the heavens and the earth be glad and rejoice.” Rabbi Matt Dreffin
So our United Methodist mantra to “make disciples for the transformation of the world” must first involve our own transformations. We who claim to believe in the message of Christ have a bounden duty to reflect all which is taught to us by Messiah. Claiming to believe goes far beyond a benign belief that Jesus of Nazareth once walked the earth; faith involves actions which reflect what it is we believe about The Lord, a reflection of the mercy once extended to us.
Make no mistake; our actions do not buy us favor with our Holy Father, for He cannot be bought nor can He be impressed by human action. Rather we understand that the “transformation of the world” begins with the transformation of our own hearts, doing and being to our neighbors and to the world all The Lord has done and has been to His Church, His people. Then will we begin to see changes. Then will those outside of the Covenant begin to understand what the Holy Covenant is about. We will never see it nor understand its importance, however, until we first begin to do it ourselves.