Scripture: Isaiah 42:1-9
Key verse: (6) 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
Reflection:If there is one thing that we have needed in the past year, it’s hope. Hope that we would see the other side of the COVID pandemic. Hope that our chaotic households would find a sense of peace. Hope that the division that we have experienced in our world, our country, our communities would cease. We have needed hope to find a light in the midst of darkness and uncertainty – a light to the nations, if you will.
The first half of the book of Isaiah speaks to the Israelite people who are feeling similar weariness to us today. They are tired, beaten down, and looking for a change. The second half, where we are today, the Israelite’s are able to look beyond their situation. They start to look toward hope. In our text for today, Isaiah speaks of a servant who will bring the very thing the Israelites needed – hope. This hope isn’t necessarily what the Israelite’s expect though. Isaiah doesn’t specifically describe the servant but rather he describes the actions of the servants. And it’s the actions that will bring the hope the Israelites need. The servant will be chosen by God, bring justice to the nations, open eyes that are blind. The servant is part of a new thing that God is doing. The description of the servant doesn’t point to one specific person but to the ways that God will bring forth God’s vision for the world, through people, chosen by God.
It is easy for us as Christians to conclude that this servant is Jesus, and Jesus certainly fits the description of the servant, but more importantly this servant is meant to bring about the Kingdom of God in justice, light, and freedom. The servant described points to the new things that God continues to do throughout time by bringing forth light into a world of darkness. This text celebrates the hope that God works in the past, present and future to bring about God’s realm of justice and love. As we continue to wait expectantly for God’s teaching, we can rest in the hope that Jesus will come again. May we wait in hope.
Prayer: Creator God, you continue to break into our world to bring about new things. We give you thanks for the hope that you bring through Jesus Christ our Lord; may we hear your call to live as people of hope in the world today. Amen.
Author: Savannah Demuynck
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].