Symposium on Worship - January 28–30, 2016 - Grand Rapids, MI, USA
The Book of Isaiah
Isaiah was given one tough assignment by the Lord God of Israel. Isaiah was commissioned to preach, as all prophets were, but in Isaiah’s case God assured him up front that the better he preached, the less people would listen. The people’s ignoring and even spurning of Isaiah’s sermons would serve as a sign against them that the judgment God was sending was just and altogether warranted. Isaiah’s was a stern message of judgment but scattered throughout even the first half of the book are lyric passages of hope. But then comes the second part of Isaiah where words of encouragement and hope pile up in lovely ways.
At the 2016 Symposium we will use some of those later texts of Isaiah in our worship to remind ourselves that although our God is a God of justice, God is also the font of all grace and hope. It was a comforting message for Israel and is no less a source of unending joy in the New Israel, the Church of Christ Jesus our Lord.
Mary Hulst, chaplain of Calvin College and author of a forthcoming book on preaching.
Richard J. Mouw, professor of faith and public life and president emeritus, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA.
Reggie Smith, senior pastor of Roosevelt Park Community Church, Grand Rapids, MI.
Frank A. Thomas, Nettie Sweeney and Hugh Th. Miller Professor of Homiletics and director of the Academy of Preaching and Celebration, Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, IN.
Anne Zaki, teaches at the Evangelical Presbyterian Seminary, Cairo, Egypt, and is resource development specialist for the Middle East for the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship.