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They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. ~ Isaiah 65:21

In today’s reading from Isaiah, the prophet envisions God’s renewal of the earth, offering transcendent images of abundance that resonate with humanity’s deepest aspirations. These verses depict the end of infant mortality, the gift of long and peaceful lives, the ability to build and enjoy one’s home, and a world where children are not born into calamity and are free from exploitative inequalities.

However, the reality we face today is far from this dream. According to the World Bank, many still live on less than $5.50 per day, children are born into war, climate change displaces millions and poverty and inequality affect infant mortality and life expectancy. The dream of Isaiah, where each person can build a home and live peacefully, seems distant. Despite these challenges, Isaiah’s vision serves as a guiding North Star. While we may not be there yet, it shows us where we are heading. Through collective efforts, including the work of organizations like Episcopal Relief & Development, we can join with God in the ongoing renewal of the earth, working toward a future that reflects the prophetic dream of Isaiah.

Today’s readings

In a world where the dream of Isaiah seems far away, what actions can we take individually and collectively to move closer to that vision of abundance, equality and peace?

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