Glimpses of the Kingdom
When I read this passage from Isaiah, I am reminded of the trip I made to Central America in the early 1990s. The group I traveled with visited El Salvador, which was still in civil war at that time. We met people who were brokenhearted, without hope to stop the tide of violence in their country. We met those who were oppressed, who had had their lands seized, and who were afraid to speak out about the human rights violations happening daily around them. We met those who had been imprisoned, and those who had family who were “disappeared” – gone -and presumably forcibly conscripted by the government forces.
Despite the circumstances, the Salvadorian people were not people of faint spirit, but were filled with deep faith and praise. The people stood against the fear and violence like oaks of righteousness, and they trusted boldly in our God who is just, and worshipped God with joy. We went to learn, and the Salvadorian people brought us the Good News.
Their faith was tangible. They were eager to tell us their stories. They graciously and warmly welcomed us to worship, which was the most moving experience for me, even though I speak not a word of Spanish! They led us in Bible study – and we heard the gospel with new ears. They embodied a faith that made mine seem pale in comparison.
Jesus proclaimed these words of Isaiah as he began his earthly ministry. He lived a life that fulfilled that prophecy. We’re not sure what it will look like when the kingdom comes, but sometimes we catch glimpses. In El Salvador, God gave me a glimpse. For that I give thanks and praise.
Rev. Tracy Spencer-Brown is the pastor of Andrews Presbyterian Church in Andrews, Texas.
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