Today’s scriptures are full of place-names. The places seem meaningless to us so far away in both time and place. But in those days, those places were extremely important. Isaiah speaks of Jerusalem, Damascus, and Samaria, strategic places in the ancient near east. The Old Testament of course places preeminence on Jerusalem, God’s dwelling-place. God sent Isaiah to prophecy that all of these would be torn down unless the people’s faith was firm.
In the Gospel, Jesus mentions Chorazin and Bethsaida, Tyre and Sidon, Capernaum, and even Sodom. He says that unless Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum learn the lessons of Tyre, Sidon and Sodom, their fate would be much worse than those condemned places.
And so, what of Glen Ellyn, then? Is our faith strong enough to pass the test of today’s Scriptures? The only way we can be sure is through our faith and our witness. We must be certain that each of us individually is living our faith to the fullest, so that our lives give witness to others. Then, with the grace of God, we can convert our village, and our nation, and even our world.
Our task on earth is to build, with God’s help, an earthly city that will lead all people to the Kingdom of God. Our prayer of faith today is, in the words of the Psalmist, God upholds his city forever.