Read Isaiah 49:1-7


            Listen to me, O coastlands, pay attention, you peoples from far away!

            The LORD called me before I was born,

                        while I was in my mother’s womb he named me.

             He made my mouth like a sharp sword,

                         in the shadow of his hand he hid me;

            he made me a polished arrow,

                        in his quiver he hid me away.

             And he said to me, “You are my servant, Israel,

                         in whom I will be glorified.”

             But I said, “I have labored in vain,

                        I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;

                        yet surely my cause is with the LORD,

                        and my reward with my God.”


            And now the LORD says,

                        who formed me in the womb to be his servant,

                                    to bring Jacob back to him,

                                    and that Israel might be gathered to him,

                                    for I am honored in the sight of the LORD,

                                    and my God has become my strength–

             he says, “It is too light a thing

                        that you should be my servant

                                    to raise up the tribes of Jacob

                                    and to restore the survivors of Israel;

                         I will give you as a light to the nations,

                                     that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”


Thus says the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One, to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nations, the slave of rulers,

            “Kings shall see and stand up, princes,

                        and they shall prostrate themselves,

                        because of the LORD, who is faithful,

                         the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”



         from Rev. Gary Patton, Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Huntington


     A general truth about humans is that we may choose to be by ourselves, but we hate to be left out.  Memories of not being invited to a party, or being overlooked when the teams were being chosen for a game, can sting for years.

     Isaiah has spoken a profound and reassuring truth.  We have been called by God from the beginning of our existence.  In the Father’s view, you are not an afterthought or just added in after everyone else has been invited.  From the beginning, God knew your name. (vs. 1)  In a world where everyone sooner or later gets despised or shunned (vs. 7), the Holy One, the Redeemer has chosen you and will show His strength through you.


I rejoice in you, O God, for you have always known me,

always chosen me, and always been nearer than my closest breath.

Now let me find your strength in the midst of my weakness,

and rejoice in you.