Daily Devotional is a ministry of the Living Church.
View this email in your browser

Daily Devotional • December 2

Sarah Cornwell
Biting the Dust
A Reading from Isaiah 3:8-15

8 For Jerusalem has stumbled
   and Judah has fallen,
because their speech and their deeds are against the Lord,
   defying his glorious presence. 

9 The look on their faces bears witness against them;
   they proclaim their sin like Sodom,
   they do not hide it.
Woe to them!
   For they have brought evil on themselves. 
10 Tell the innocent how fortunate they are,
   for they shall eat the fruit of their labours. 
11 Woe to the guilty! How unfortunate they are,
   for what their hands have done shall be done to them. 
12 My people — children are their oppressors,
   and women rule over them.
O my people, your leaders mislead you,
   and confuse the course of your paths. 

13 The Lord rises to argue his case;
   he stands to judge the peoples. 
14 The Lord enters into judgement
   with the elders and princes of his people:
It is you who have devoured the vineyard;
   the spoil of the poor is in your houses. 
15 What do you mean by crushing my people,
   by grinding the face of the poor? says the Lord God of hosts. 

It is no secret that as a human race, we break God’s commandments. A lot. As our corporate confession states: “We have offended against thy holy laws, we have left undone those things which we ought to have done, and we have done those things which we ought not to have done….”

The age-old question — from Sodom to today — asks: If we fail so often, why bother trying to keep these holy laws in the first place? If God’s people continually fall short of them, why not move the goal posts, or indeed, remove the goal posts entirely? If you remove the goal posts, then every pass is in bounds, every down a touchdown, and everyone is a winner. At least that is the assumption.

In reality, when we cease to have moral boundaries, we do not have a level playing field in which all are victorious, we have a playing field where the ground is constantly shifting underneath us. Rather than from time to time falling short of God’s holy laws, and through confession, repentance, and absolution, finding our footing once more, we are doomed to continually stumble and fall over shifting ground. Even the most lithe among us does not have sufficient enough grace to keep from falling on our faces. We can justify, ignore, or even celebrate our sins all we like, claiming they are victories rather than failings, but we are doing it through a mouthful of dust.  

As we look around the field today, there will be immense pressure to move the goal posts, or even to pull them up altogether. The argument will be that the game of life will produce more winners. In reality, it produces confusion and injury. It will be up to Christians to hold the line —  not to grind people down into the dirt through guilt trips — but rather, with God’s grace, to lift them up again. 

Sarah Cornwell is a laywoman and an associate of the Eastern Province of the Community of St. Mary. She and her husband have seven children and they live in Wheaton, Illinois.

Daily Devotional Cycle of Prayer

Today we pray for:

The Diocese of Southern Nyanza – The Anglican Church of Kenya
Episcopal Church of our Saviour, Jacksonville, Florida
Subscribe to Daily Devotionals

Forward to a Friend

You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Our mailing address is:
The Living Church
P.O. Box 510705
Milwaukee, WI 53203

Add us to your address book

Copyright © 2022 The Living Church, All rights reserved.