Tuesday: March 6                                                         

Isaiah 42:1-9

Here is my servant, whom I uphold,

my chosen, in whom my soul delights;

I have put my spirit upon him;

he will bring forth justice to the nations.

He will not cry or lift up his voice,

or make it heard in the street;

a bruised reed he will not break,

and a dimly burning wick he will not quench;

he will faithfully bring forth justice.

He will not grow faint or be crushed

until he has established justice in the earth;

and the coastlands wait for his teaching.

Thus says God, the LORD,

who created the heavens and stretched them out,

who spread out the earth and what comes from it,

who gives breath to the people upon it

and spirit to those who walk in it:

I am the LORD,

I have called you in righteousness,

I have taken you by the hand and kept you;

I have given you as a covenant to the people,

a light to the nations,

to open the eyes that are blind,

to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,

from the prison those who sit in darkness.

I am the LORD, that is my name;

my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to idols.

See, the former things have come to pass,

and new things I now declare;

before they spring forth, I tell you of them.

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            Today we are in the midst of the Servant Songs of Isaiah.  As Christians looking through our Christian lenses, we cannot but help see Jesus in these words a prophecy or prediction of who Jesus would be and what he would do.  And it is right for Christians to have reinterpreted the passage in this light, for the revelation of God is continuous, speaking anew to each generation. 

            But perhaps this traditional interpretation of who the Servant in Isaiah represents is too limited.  We get a hint of this from the overarching theme of the passage: justice.  Not just any justice, but “God’s justice.”  The Hebrew word here, “mispat,” literally translates as “justice,” but when used by Isaiah, we can assume that it means God’s justice. After all, who but God is the author of justice?  Because God’s justice is universal, we also need to be thinking universally.  As Christians, baptized into the universal Church, are not all of us called to seek out justice?  Are not all of us called to do/make justice? 

            Isaiah’s Servant description gives us a blueprint of what it means to accept the call of God, and the life of Jesus gave us the perfect and obedient example of how we are called to serve God.  Each of us has been called.  Each of us is that Servant.  Do you not see Jesus when reading the words of verses 2-4: not raising one’s voice because we are confident of the rightness of our message; neither bruising nor breaking those we seek to help, nor being broken by them; neither growing faint nor being crushed as we seek to establish God’s justice in all the earth.  Let us not leave the entire job of establishing God’s justice in all the earth to Jesus.  He is but the first of the servants of the LORD.

Loving God, who seeks to remake all of creation into justice,

grant us the strength, the wisdom, and the courage, to be your servants,

after the example of Christ our Lord.

Rev. Richard Howard

First Christian Church, Morgantown

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