Day 56: Yatsar

How briefly your holy people possessed your holy place,
    and now our enemies have destroyed it.
Sometimes it seems as though we never belonged to you,
    as though we had never been known as your people.

Isaiah 63:18-19

You welcome those who gladly do good,
    who follow godly ways.
But you have been very angry with us,
    for we are not godly.
We are constant sinners;
    how can people like us be saved?

Isaiah 64:5

And yet, O Lord, you are our Father.
    We are the clay, and you are [Yatsar].
    We all are formed by your hand.
Don’t be so angry with us, Lord.
    Please don’t remember our sins forever.
Look at us, we pray,
    and see that we are all your people.

Isaiah 64:8

The Lord says,

“I was ready to respond, but no one asked for help.
    I was ready to be found, but no one was looking for me.
I said, ‘Here I am, here I am!’
    to a nation that did not call on my name.

Isaiah 65:1

Isaiah 63 (raw honesty about how it feels), 64 (confession of sin), and 65 (God’s response) are worth another read today, all together, in full

Yatsar: The Potter

I don’t really know how to follow that. Do you feel it? Can you feel how truly abandoned each side feels? Do you feel the staggering weight of admitting we are in this situation of our own making; we are not godly, we are constant sinners, we cannot see a way we can be saved. We want someone, anyone else to be to blame. It’s almost like there is some solace in being an innocent victim, in having the ability to say, “I did nothing to deserve this,” but in being a sufferer of the consequences of our own stupid sin – of knowing we have broken our chances beyond repair, that we not only suffer this, but deserve it – even the barest whisper of solace cannot penetrate that despair.

And yet.

Our ending was never ours to make. We know: there is a way out, a way that will break us maybe every bit as much as our own destruction.

We must ask for what we do not deserve.

We must ask Yatsar, who has waited for us, called to us, waved His hands before our faces while we closed our eyes and ears – we must call now to Him, ask Him to help us, wait for His answer, and hope it is not the one we gave Him. And if He should ask – “Why should I?” – what would we say? Our only remaining merit is that He made us. Our only hope to say – “because broken as we are, we are Yours.”

He could punish us; that would be just. He could forgive us; that would be merciful. Through the chastening blood of the Lamb, though, Yatsar has molded an answer both just and merciful, both functional and beautiful, the way only a Master Potter can. ❤

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