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Old Testament XI: Isaiah 40–66 A New Eye Is Required (Clement of Alexandria)

CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA: The Word says, “Look, I am doing something new, which no eye has seen, no ear heard, no human heart felt.” These are to be seen, heard and grasped by a new eye, a new hearing and a new heart when the Lord’s disciples speak, listen and act in the Spirit. STROMATEIS 2.4.15.3.

Jessica and I had a major change in our lives this week.
As some of you know, Jessica and I have been on a journey of becoming foster parents. This has been after about 3 years of discussion, discernment, and waiting for what seemed to be good timing. We started the journey in earnest last September, and most of our energy since about Thanksgiving has been geared towards this new adventure. One of the biggest conversations we had was around our parameters of placement, that being what kind of child would we be willing to take...
Well, we had no gender restrictions; no ethnicity restrictions; We wanted to stay under our boy’s age (7); and we only had 2 behavioral restrictions…we were pretty wide open, really. We even said we could take siblings.
Exactly one week ago today Jessica and I were officially placement eligible. Now, we have a few friends who are also foster parents through the agency we are working with, and most of them told us it would take a few weeks to have a child placed with us; and our agency rep said that with our parameters it shouldn’t take long.
Well....God was about to do something new in our house.
On Monday we got a call asking us to take 2 siblings. Now, please hear me, I am so amazed and happy, but unexpectedly to us, we were asked to take a 5yo boy and a 5 month old girl..... and oh by the way they needed to be picked up in an hour....
We knew that God was going to do something new in our lives- but we did not know what it was going to look like- honestly, I dont think either one of us expected to get have an infant enter our lives on Monday morning…We thought we had it all figured out. We would get a call asking us to take a 4-5 year old kid, you know, one fully potty trained, able to feed itself, and hopefully even sleep through the night. We thought we had God’s plan all figured out.... maybe that is what got us into trouble in the first place.
I told Jessica on Tuesday as we were running to the store to buy bottles, new shoes for our 5yo foster son, a baby monitor, and all of the other things we needed, if I would have known we would have 2 more kids with us, one of which is an infant, one Monday night, I would have done a lot of things different during the day on Monday...
Then I thought, man that’ll preach- God was more interested in our ability to rely on faith, love, adrenaline, and creativity than our ability to plan, organize, and manipulate circumstance. I wonder how many times we miss the amazing new things, the restoration and redemption stories around us, because we are too busy planning, organizing, and manipulating circumstance to match what we think the new thing God is about to do is going to look like.
After all, we have no idea what God is up to.... as Scripture reminds us God’s ways and thoughts are much bigger than ours.....
In mere moments our normal day got blown up- in the best way possible.
I must confess friends, in some ways I felt that way coming to these meetings. This is my last MMB meeting in Elgin. I have made this trip 10 times now. Long gone is the nostalgic feeling, the wonder and awe, and slightly overwhelmed feeling I had in 2013 when I arrived on the MMB. This almost seems like old hat by now…So I began to pray that God would refresh my heart and my spirit for this work this weekend… In the midst of that day of prayer I had to take Ethan, our new foster son, to Walmart to get some school supplies...
Halfway through our shopping trip he tells me he wants a lunchbox. He saw Aiden and Elijah leaving for school with their lunchboxes, and he too wanted a lunchbox to take to school…its all he wanted. So, we went to the lunch box aisle and from the other end of the section he spotted a lunchbox donning the image of Lightning McQueen from Disney’s Cars Movies, and he ran over scooped it up and commenced the begging. I looked at the tag and saw the price..... $3.... Guys, he didnt let go of that lunchbox for the rest of the night. I thought he was going to take it to bed. He immediately ran home screaming as soon as he got in the door “MRS JESS LOOK WHAT I GOOOOOOOTTTTTT!!!”
A THREE DOLLAR LUNCH BOX....
God may not flip our worlds head over heels in these meetings, but God is up to something. My prayer for us as we gather together, is that we approach this work like Ethan and he new lunchbox.
But in order to do this, we need to remember the why…why is God doing this new thing?
We may think it is to save the CoB…maybe, but not primarily
We may think it is to instill vitality in our churches....maybe, but not primarily
We may even think it is to promote unity among the Brethren…maybe, but not primarily.
No, Scripture is quite clear on why God does new things in v21- that we, the people God formed, may declare the praise of God! That we would raise a banner of God’s faithfulness across the landscape...
God’s new thing is about WHO GOD IS not WHO WE ARE....
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