Assistant for Multi-Faith Programs
Major: Religion Major and Studio Art Minor
Hometown: New York City, NYRead the full interview
“Do not fear, for I am with you;
I will bring your offspring from the east,
And from the west I will gather you;
I will say to the north, “Give them up,”
And to the south, “Do not withhold;
Bring my sons from far away
And my daughters from the end of the earth—
Everyone who is called by my name,
Whom I created for my glory,
Whom I formed and made.”
Stephen Kirkpatrick ‘13
Last night, I sat down to watch one of my favorite political programs on cable news, expecting the usual sarcastic political commentary, but most of the broadcast was about Haiti.
I could not help but think of this passage: He reassures us here that the rivers shall not overwhelm
us, nor will the fires
consume us. Sometimes, we are confronted with floods and
fires quite literally
(there were fire trucks behind my dorm this last Sunday that can attest to that),
but flood and fire can come in all forms: loss of a loved
one, struggles to overcome
disease, poverty, or addiction, or even the hassles and
frustrations of the average
day-to-day life.--and even earthquakes that destroy nations.
We live in an uncertain and inconstant world, but as we are
reminded here, the
one constant element is God. No matter what we come
across, no matter how we
choose to confront life, no matter the severity of our
situation, He's there
to guide us, protect us, and most of all to love us.
Consider for a moment your own "fires" or "floods." And as
you ponder those difficulties,
pains, or frustrations, keep in mind this promise.
Erich Hartfelder ‘12
A few brief thoughts: Ultimately, this text is really, in some sense, a good summary, almost a “Spark Notes” version, if you will, of the Bible as a whole because it discusses the fundamental concept of redemption. Most literally, it refers to God’s redemption of Israel from Babylon. But, of course, metaphorically, it means much more than that. It delivers the message of God’s great redemption from the confines of darkness, evil, and sin. We see that God will stop at no length to redeem us:
Of the north, he demands, “Give them up,”
And, of the south, he demands, “Do not withhold, bring my sons from far away, and my daughters from the end of the earth!”
It is clear that God will do anything for the ones he loves. In doing so, he brings us home and brings us closer to him. God redeems who he creates and has ownership over:
“Everyone who is called by my name”
“Everyone whom I formed and made.”
And, in this we see the true glory of God. The passage tells us that we are created for God’s glory, which is seen in his redemption. We are creatures designed for and in great need of God’s redemption, something which is equal-parts comforting and humbling.
We also see here the essential groundwork for the radical work of Christ. God creates, and Jesus, “son of God,” redeems. It is for this reason that in the passage God declares “Do not fear, for I am with you.” All who accept the call of God, through Christ, will be gathered and redeemed. And that is truly a great message.
So, in closing, I would invite you to reflect upon what to do to become closer to God, our Great Redeemer.
Last Updated: 8/7/11