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Truth Stumbles in the Streets
I Am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life
“No one calls for justice… So justice is far from us, and righteousness does not reach us. We look for light, but all is darkness; for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows… truth has stumbled in the streets…” (Isaiah 59:4a, 9, 14c, NIV).
This summer, I was blessed to be given a sabbatical by my congregation. While on a solitude day during my sabbatical, the Lord spoke to me about truth, beauty, and the kingdom of God. So, I decided to do a little Bible reading on truth, to see what else God’s Word had to say on the subject. One morning, I was in Isaiah 59, and the phrases above stood out as though they’d been highlighted, but of course, they hadn’t. I’ve come to recognize when that happens, it’s often because God is speaking to me through those verses. So, I slow down, reread them, ask God what he wants to say to me in his Word, why did those verses catch my eye. Then, I write down thoughts that come to mind. This is the most common way I hear God speak.
Here’s what I wrote that early July morning:
Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” Truth stumbles in the streets because Christians do not live as Christ lived. We do not embody truth and justice. We do not call for Jesus. We do not hunger and thirst for righteousness. We are complacent—comfortable in our big houses with manicured lawns, our vacation plans, our retirement accounts, our career success, and our kids’ activities. Because we look and live just like the world around us, Truth is stumbling in the streets. Society is crumbling because it has no foundation of truth and no love for justice. No one is showing the world a way of life that embodies truth and justice. And if we don’t show them, how will they know?
As I reflected on that, I asked the Lord, “How do we show them Truth?” And the thought came back to me: Beauty. Truth is beautiful. If we long for people to know and understand Truth, we must show them the Beauty of that Truth. And that can only happen through love—not social media rants, not contempt for those who disagree, not disgust for people whose lifestyles differ from ours. They’ll know we are Christians by our love. Love unveils the Beauty of Truth. Jesus loved the tax collectors and prostitutes, the people who were despised by the religious elite. He ate with them and called them out of their way of life and into his kingdom. Are we doing the same?