My Word Shall Not Return To Me Void

Thus says the Lord:
Just as from the heavens
the rain and snow come down
and do not return there
till they have watered the earth,
making it fertile and fruitful,
giving seed to the one who sows
and bread to the one who eats,
so shall my word be
that goes forth from my mouth;
my word shall not return to me void,
but shall do my will,
achieving the end for which I sent it.

Isaiah 55:10-11

Religious observance is in decline.  But in all likelihood, Isaiah’s prophecy will come true again.  Observance of many religious traditions ebbs and flows over time.  Islam experienced dramatic decline into the late 1800s until it suddenly re-flourished such that an overwhelming majority of Muslims are now observant.  Buddhism also languished for a time in the East until it enjoyed a massive resurgence.  In fact, it is part of the Buddhist tradition that the faith will wax and wane in distinct ages.  Often it is a single idea – a paradigm shift that reaches a cultural tipping point - that triggers the renewal.

Christians speak of evangelization but are often uncertain how to do it.  I’m sure there are many ways.  One, certainly, is to keep thinking about how we experience and express faith; challenging our weaknesses, exploring our strengths, and presenting faith anew to those who ‘have ears to hear.’

Image:  The Annunciation as envisioned in the Muslim tradition