January 10, 2022
1 “Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen one in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him,
and he will bring justice to the nations.
2 He will not shout or cry out,
or raise his voice in the streets.
3 A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
4 he will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice on earth.
In his teaching the islands will put their hope.”
5 This is what God the Lord says—
the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out,
who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it,
who gives breath to its people,
and life to those who walk on it:
6 “I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness;
I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people
and a light for the Gentiles,
7 to open eyes that are blind,
to free captives from prison
and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.
8 “I am the Lord; that is my name!
I will not yield my glory to another
or my praise to idols.
9 See, the former things have taken place,
and new things I declare;
before they spring into being
I announce them to you.”
Like many others, I like to watch some of the shows on TV where people figure out who is guilty in crimes. Figuring out more than just who did, but why they did it. As they analyze the actions they determine the type of person who did it. Because the actions come from who the person is. Who they are has a great deal to do with what they are doing. Acting out of their identity.
I have stated before that concept that we act out of who we are. Our actions go with our identity. Yesterday we talked of the identity of Jesus as we looked at him at his baptism. And we saw that in the gospels there are questions about his identity that will come up. One being when John the Baptist sends his disciples to ask Jesus if he is the one or if they should wait for another. (see Luke 7.18-23) And Jesus will respond by saying the words we see here in Isaiah 42.7-8.
Jesus will act out of his identity as the Servant of God, the Messiah. He brings justice and mercy. He restores order in the midst of our chaos. He brings life out of death. He gives freedom in the midst of oppression. He gives sight and hearing when we cannot see or hear. And we hear that he comes for the people, whether Jewish or Gentile.
We are called to have an identity that comes from this also. To be those who put our hope in what he says and what he does. To be those who are changed so that we are able to see him and his world. To hear him, as well as hear the cries of the world in its struggles. To be set free, and to work for the freedom of others from sin, from oppression, from poverty. To have life, and to bring life to others who are dying. To hear God’s good news of salvation, as well as to proclaim the same to all.
We see more of who Jesus is. We see more of who we are called to be and who the Holy Spirit is transforming us to be. Jesus is the one who brings both justice and mercy to us, to all.
Song – Make Room
Lord God, gracious and merciful, you anointed your beloved Son with the Holy Spirit at his baptism in the Jordan, and you consecrated him prophet, priest, and king. Pour out your Spirit on us again that we may be faithful to our baptismal calling, ardently desire the communion of Christ’s body and blood, and serve the poor of your people and all who need your love, through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.