On the evening of December 21, 2020, I stood on my deck in the freezing cold, staring at the sky. I’d figured out how to prop my binoculars on the deck railing to stabilize the image I saw through them. I waited and watched for what astronomers called the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. On that one night, in the southwest sky, I had a momentary opportunity to see the two largest planets in our solar system only 0.1 degrees apart. Some suggest that this conjunction may have formed the Bethlehem Star two thousand years ago. Regardless, I didn’t want to miss this fleeting moment to see it. So, I had to be outside, facing the correct direction, looking up at the proper angle to witness this rare, beautiful alignment in the heavens.
What part must we play to experience God’s life-changing grace? We don’t cause it. We can’t earn it. But we must be in the right posture to see it shining upon us. We must understand the meaning of the moment, the divine alignment of messages, circumstances, challenges, and opportunities that give us a singular opportunity to see and receive God’s grace.
Repentance is the spiritual posture that sees the heavenly light of grace. With a few words, Isaiah surveys the dimensions of such an attitude. Repentance is the willingness to begin a new way of life, to challenge and correct ways of thinking that are unworthy of God’s people, to return to the trusting, obedient life with God from which we’ve strayed.
Isaiah says the heavens are aligned right now to reveal God’s life-giving grace. Whether we see it and are transformed by it, the prophet reminds us, is a choice up to us.
How can you position yourself to see and experience God’s saving work? Which of your ways and thoughts would an attitude of repentance change?
God, awaken my heart to know that this moment overflows with holy possibilities. Call me home to a new beginning with you. Amen.