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Isaiah 51:3 – For the LORD will comfort Zion; he will comfort all her waste places and will make her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the voice of song.


I don’t always understand technology. I know a little about it but only enough to get a few things accomplished on a regular basis. There are days, though, when I am completely lost. I will be working away, getting so much done, and all of a sudden… nothing. Where did my work go? Can I recover my document that just disappeared? I don’t think I touched the wrong thing. Or was I going so fast, I accidently created a glitch? The black hole of technology can create a powerful drain on my forward movement.

Sometimes, a computer re-boot is the only thing that will fix the problem. Shut the thing down, wait a bit, and start back up again. My husband says my computer can’t keep up with my brain. He thinks I type too fast for the computer to process what I want. Silly Bill. We know that’s not possible. Still, sometimes my brain wants to continue when my computer seems to need a break. At that point, when everything freezes up, the only thing to do is re-boot. Start over. Go back to when things were working.

When the prophet Isaiah speaks to God’s people, they are a bit frozen up. Things aren’t processing well, and they feel they cannot keep up. They have been defeated in war, and a large number of them remain captive servants in Babylon. They are displaced from their homes and families. Their Temple is destroyed, and they are now worshipping idols instead of the One True God. It’s as if their faithfulness has been sucked into a black hole and created a powerful drain on their forward movement. The Hebrew children need a re-boot.

Isaiah reminds them to look back to when things were working. Remember who you are! he says. Being small in number doesn’t mean you need a break! Think about your ancestors, your upbringing, your history. You are hewn from the rock called Abraham whom God chose and named. God promised your ancestor Abraham – one man – that his descendants would be too numerous to count, and here you are! Remember those blessings and how God keeps promises. Remember, and use those memories to fuel your future and start over! That’s the only thing that will fix your problem. Return to the faithfulness of your ancestors! Re-boot!

The prophet then goes on to describe what will happen when the people do re-boot. The Lord will comfort the nation, everything will go back to working, and God’s people will be filled with thanksgiving and will be joyful in song. (Isaiah 51:1-3)

Lent provides me with the same kind of do-over. I am encouraged through a season of re-booting – a time when I remember my heritage, reflect on God’s promises, and go back to living in a way that works. When I take the time before Easter to shut down and start again, I know I will come out the other side of the resurrection giving thanks and singing joyfully.

Re-booting each day,
Pastor Beth


God of all the ages, give us the vision to look beyond ourselves, to stand with the great ancestors of our faith, and with all the unnamed ordinary folk who have shown love to the loveless, welcomed the stranger, spoken out for justice and righteousness. Help us to be people of integrity, and give us a vision of your glory, where the wilderness will be filled with joy and gladness, thanksgiving and the voice of song. Amen.

(prayer from

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