[The LORD says,]â€œLook at my servant, whom I strengthen. He is my chosen one, who pleases me.
I have put my Spirit upon him. He will bring justice to the nations.
He will not shout or raise his voice in public.
He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle.
He will bring justice to all who have been wronged.
He will not falter or lose heart until justice prevails throughout the earth.
Even distant lands beyond the sea will wait for his instruction.â€
God, the Lord, created the heavens and stretched them out.
He created the earth and everything in it.
He gives breath to everyone, life to everyone who walks the earth.
And it is he who says,
â€œI, the Lord, have called you to demonstrate my righteousness.
I will take you by the hand and guard you, and I will give you to my people, Israel, as a symbol of my covenant with them. And you will be a light to guide the nations.
You will open the eyes of the blind. You will free the captives from prison, releasing those who sit in dark dungeons.
I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give my glory to anyone else, nor share my praise with carved idols.
Everything I prophesied has come true, and now I will prophesy again.
I will tell you the future before it happens.â€ (Isaiah 42:1-9 NLT)
My Sunday School class studies the Lectionary texts every week. We want to see if there is a â€œthreadâ€ that runs through these four texts; looking to see how God â€œconnects the dotsâ€, if you will. Our pastor always preaches from these texts so it is a preparation for us for our worship that follows the class.
My husband, Henry, offers this explanation of what Lectionary Texts mean: Lectionary texts grew out of the Jewish synagogue readings for the year. Early Christians selected scriptures to read together during the church year that would fit with seasons and help people get an overview of all of scriptures as well. Texts always consist of one selection from a gospel, an Old Testament passage, a Psalm (or other poetic passage), and one epistle (or selection from Acts). A variety of Christian denominations use the same lectionary (with some variations), which is called the Revised Common Lectionary.
The other three texts for yesterday are: Psalm 29, Acts 10:34-43, and Matthew 3:13-17. It was wonderful to see how in all of these God is powerful and Creator. He is the I AM. Isaiahâ€™s passage gives the foretelling of the Messiah who has all that is needed to give to heal and save His people. And yet, He will be known as gentle and mild.
And there is the point that hangs so many of us when we try to understand God. He wins us with His love, not His ability to slay us all with a thought. The horror of the Cross is in direct contrast with Jesus choosing to submit to that death so that we may have life. His death is but a step to His resurrection which promised us eternity.
I hope you take time to read through these passages and notice the power of God that produces not fear and pain but unconditional love and healing. Notice the contrasts and the consistencies. Soak in Godâ€™s promises that have already been fulfilled and rest in the peace that comes with the assurance that He will finish what He has begun in each of our lives. I suggest you end your time with 1 Corinthians 1:18-31.