Lent Devotions: Go out in joy…and find peace


Editor’s note: This Lent season, Bread Blog is running a series of devotionals written by staff, alumni, and friends of the San Francisco Theological Seminary, which is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A).

By Marissa J. Miller

Isaiah 55 

I’m not going to sugar coat it. These are rough times.

In our world, there’s so much anger. So much division. This past year, it became “us” vs. “them.” Even in our own families. What timing it was that the Thanksgiving holiday came just a couple of short weeks after one of the most surprising elections in our history. Even many Republicans didn’t think he would actually get elected.

But he did and so families all over America disagreed with each other and argued across their Thanksgiving tables, or (in the case of my family) made agreements that it wouldn’t be discussed. In my family’s case, our unconditional love and mutual respect for each other is far more important to us than who had their finger on the button in Washington.

One of the beautiful things I’ve noticed that came out of this division was a common strength. A banding together to fight for what was important to us (regardless of which side you are on). People are rising up. Women (and the men who love them) marched. Members and supporters of the LGBTQ community came together and took care of each other. The Alt-NPS (National Park Service) was born.

From the struggle of our division came strength. Strength in numbers, strength in focus and passion. From this struggle has come abundance – of love, of respect, of understanding. And hopefully from this struggle will come peace – even if only at our dinner tables for now.

I pray that we can come together and recognize that we’re all humans on an equal plane. Humans who love our country’s wilderness and will work to protect it. Humans who love the people in their lives and want to make sure they have safe and affordable access to health care. Humans who just want to have a good life.

The life that we’re promised in Isaiah 55.

“For you shall go out in joy,
      and be led back in peace;
the mountains and the hills
           before you
      shall burst into song,
      and all the trees of the field shall
      clap their hands.”

Sounds pretty good to me.

Marissa J. Miller is communications manager at the San Francisco Theological Seminary.

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