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

Daily Devotional • February 13

Michael Smith
The Grapes of Wrath
A Reading from Isaiah 63:1-6

1 “Who is this coming from Edom,
    from Bozrah in garments stained crimson?
Who is this so splendidly robed,
    marching in his great might?”

“It is I, announcing vindication,
    mighty to save.”

2 “Why are your robes red
    and your garments like theirs who tread the winepress?”

3 “I have trodden the winepress alone,
    and from the peoples no one was with me;
I trod them in my anger
    and trampled them in my wrath;
their juice spattered on my garments,
    and I stained all my robes.
4 For the day of vengeance was in my mind,
    and the year for my redeeming work had come.
5 I looked, but there was no helper;
    I was abandoned, and there was no one to sustain me,
so my own arm brought me victory,
    and my wrath sustained me.
6 I trampled down peoples in my anger;
    I crushed them in my wrath,
    and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.”

Readings from the book of Isaiah can be confusing and paradoxical. On one hand, some are full of comfort and victory; on the other, they can be filled with the judgment of the Holy One. I suppose both are correct and applicable at different times and situations.

Today we hear of a stranger whose “garments are stained with crimson.” How did this happen? “I have trodden the wine press …. I trod them in my anger and trampled them in my wrath; their juice spattered on my garments, and stained all my robes.”

Julia Ward Howe, an abolitionist, wrote the famous “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” In one verse, she refers to this scripture: “Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord: He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored.” Howe saw in this biblical text a reference to justice—in this case, a judgment against the evil of slavery.

Today the church commemorates Absalom Jones, the first African American priest of the Episcopal Church. Isaiah reminds us that comfort and victory do eventually come, but only after evil has been judged and justice restored. This is true for our world, our communities, and our hearts. The struggle continues.

Michael G. Smith served as bishop of North Dakota for 15 years and is currently the Assistant Bishop of Dallas. He works with the Navajoland Iona Collaborative and is a Benedictine Oblate and an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation.

Daily Devotional Cycle of Prayer

Today we pray for:

The Diocese of North Central Philippines
Holy Apostles Episcopal Church, Katy, Texas
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 © 2023 The Living Church, All rights reserved.