Thursday, March 4th Isaiah 55:12-13

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. Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall be to the Lord for a memorial, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off. Isaiah 55:12-13

For some people it was the monkeys who gave the scariest moments, for others it was the mean trees in the forest, but for all of us, cheering for Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion were highlight moments when we were growing up.

Long before I knew about the political allegory that Frank Baum wrote into his story, I was fascinated by the idea of a little girl propelled into another world of mystery and danger. As I grew up, the story grew up. As a teenager, I had read a bit about the shenanigans the little people in the cast had pulled during production. As an adult, I watched my little girl as she quietly watched the movie on video (not having to wait for the annual screening), how she, without a word, left the room just before the monkeys descended, and then just as quietly came back in for the adventure in the castle.

For Katie, the monkeys were clearly the scariest part.

No doubt part of the fascination we have had with that movie is the idea of all nature coming alive around us. Really alive, not just that strong sense we have when walking alone through a forest that we are not really alone. Dancing flowers, grouchy trees – everything around us alive, stretching, singing, clapping.

And always that little element of danger.

This is the kind of image that the writer of Isaiah casts for his hearers. As the people of Israel wake up from the painful slumber of their wasted years in Babylon, the news has arrived that they get to go home. Excitement flies through the camps. Plans are made. The few possessions still possessed are gathered up.

This time there will be no trail of tears or forced marches or demeaning humiliation. This time, with heads held high, the survivors will quick step their way back home, singing, dancing, like Dorothy and the crew. The tears will wait until they actually get there, until they discover the ashes and the stone heaps and the glory that is no longer there.

But for now they are following the road back home and all nature celebrates with them. The mountains are singing, the trees are clapping, “all nature sings and round me rings the music of the spheres!”

“Though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the Ruler yet!”

Let us pray: Gracious Lord, when life gets difficult, when the going gets hard, put a song in our hearts. A song of hope, a song of remembering, a song of peace and promise. Bring the world around us to life again. Resurrect us with joy. Be that enduring flame of hope that no darkness can extinguish. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

One Response to “Thursday, March 4th Isaiah 55:12-13”

  1. marthe Says:

    What is the political allegory? All those years of watching it and I thought it was about self-realization!

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