Isaiah 55:6 Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near;

When we are young, the thing most on our minds is growing up – somewhere along the line that seems to change, and we work hard at trying to be young. I’d like to talk about one of the rituals of growing up, it seems almost universal. When we were very young our parents carried us, but it was not long until we could walk on our own – and the agreement was that we could walk on our own, if we would hold our parents hand. It was a good agreement, if you think about it – we were too old to be carried like babies, our parents we allowing us to grow up and walk on our own – but they would provide some guidance – a hand to show us the way, a presence so that we would not get lost. But life moves swiftly and it was not long before we thought we were too old to hold our parents hand anymore – we thought we could find our own way, we were confident we would not get lost. And while we may dismiss this as "just part of growing up." It is, never the less, SIN. We are rebelling against authority, we are not obeying our parents, we are trying for the first time to, as it were, act like God, making our own way, doing our own thing. You see, while we often talk about sin as trespassing, and we may at some times talk about sin as missing the mark, one of the other ways of speaking about sin is in the terms of rebellion.

Returning to the story of growing up – if we play out the act of rebellion, we find that somewhere along the line, we slipped out of our parents hand, it took some effort on our part, and we may have had a good idea of where we wanted to go – but after a while we find that we do not like being by ourselves, and we want to find our way back, and if someone were to ask us what was wrong, our why we were unhappy chances are that we would say something about – wanting our parents. And when we can’t find them, we are very troubled and upset.

What we do with our parents, and not wanting to hold their hand, is also what we continue to do when it comes to our relationship with God. We are convince we are grown up enough to walk on our own, so we would not want God to carry us – and we are also at the point where we are rebelling against holding, as it were, God’s hand.

Our text speaks first of all to people who know God, and who rebel against him. It calls all to repent, and return. But like the lost child, it is not we who find our way back to God, but rather, it is God who finds us. God makes repentance possible, God comes near, so we may take him by the hand, and have him guide us again.