We’ve heard over the years to “put your best foot forward… make a good first impression”. When people look at us, we want them to be impressed, at least at some level. If I’m shooting some baskets and I make three in a row….wooooo, I hope someone is watching.
More importantly we care what the Lord thinks of us and we want to impress him. We desire to be like the men and women of faith in the gospels that Jesus admired…. people like the Roman centurion who’s famous response actually made it into the Mass readings for the past 2,000 years. “When Jesus heard him, he marveled, and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.”(Mt. 8:10) Wow, what praise coming from God!
Well todays reading from Isaiah illustrates that God knows our heart and also calls us on when we’re not doing well. He called out the people of Israel….”fear not, you worm Jacob, you maggot Israel!” Yet also adding that “ I will help you, says the LORD; your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.” (Is. 41:13-14)
Because God called Israel a “worm and maggot” doesn’t mean that he didn’t love them and wouldn’t help them. He was “calling a spade a spade”. Let’s not hide from the truth. It’s the truth that sets us free.
So whether our recent actions warrant praise or criticism from the Lord, we shouldn’t hide from it. If it’s a “pat on the back” for our acts of faith and love, GREAT…be encouraged…keep going. If it’s a “kick in the pants” for our recent actions more similar to a “worm or maggot”,…. let’s heed the warning, repent, and get going again, knowing the “the Lord will help us”. Let us embrace the truth, remembering that “humility goes before honor.” (Prov. 18:12)
Better to be called a “worm and maggot” now, make the changes, and later be called “faithful” ….. and welcomed to the kingdom of God with “well done good and faithful servant”.
God knows us, he loves us, and will not abandon us. It’s GOOD NEWS.