April 11

Isaiah 42:1-9

“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.” vss. 2-3

It’s likely that the Servant spoken of in these chapters of Isaiah is a personification of the nation of Israel, the chosen people of God, the ones in whom the Spirit would work to bring light and justice to the entire world. Isaiah’s description is a masterpiece and lifts up an entirely different picture of leadership than the ones that have dominated human history. Jesus was certainly aware of Isaiah’s picture and seems to have understood himself as the inheritor of the Servant’s mission. He doesn’t raise an army or use heavy-handed tactics to win people’s support or allegiance. Rather he operates gently and carefully, nurturing the light that often burns so dimly in our hearts. Even today, the progeny of Jesus, bearers of the same Holy Spirit, are at work everywhere, opening blind eyes, liberating the oppressed, and binding up the brokenhearted. Servants to the core, they speak gently and firmly, holding up the banner of love wherever they go, and no power or force can silence them or keep them from their mission. And even though they don’t cry out or call attention to themselves, their message is making a difference. In this world of pundits and blarney peddlers, there can never be too many gentle Servants.

Thought for the Day: How do gentle people influence others?

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