March 28 Isaiah 52:13-53:12
In this passage, a passage that reflects the somber tone during the season of Lent, the suffering of the servant is described in terms that would make anyone cringe. Here we read about a person who is outcast, despised, tortured and loathed. This passage is most often seen as the prophet foretelling the death of Jesus. The writer of this portion of Isaiah paints a picture of the Messiah in terms many were unwilling to see. What are we to do with these images? How do we bring this into the context of our lives today, in this community?
Think about these words: “There was nothing attractive about him, nothing to cause us to take a second look” (vs. 2b). In the world today, who do we give a second look to? Who does the world find attractive? We are bombarded with images of the beautiful, the fashionable, the famous. In our own lives, who do we pay attention to? “He was looked down on and passed over…” (vs. 3a). It brings to mind the kid at school who is always picked last when a class is choosing teams. “One look at him and people turned away.” (vs. 3b). The young man who walks to the Metro on withered legs with crutches to help him along. In the book, “Letters to Marc”, some of our small groups meeting for Lent are reading, Henri Nouwen writes, “God has descended to us human beings to become a human being with us; and once among us, he descended to the total dereliction of one condemned to death.” “We looked down on him, thought he was scum…” (vs. 3b).
During Lent our community at Calvary is thinking about our call to live the defiant life in the face of what is seen as normal in this world. Thinking of the picture the writer of Isaiah paints, how will we live our lives different from what is all around us? How will we speak to a world that reveres power, wealth, and pride? How will we take a stand in the face of the images of looking good, being hip, and buying just one more thing? I know my life is filled with times I should have said something but didn’t, opportunities I could have made a personal contact that I passed by.
“But the fact is, it was our pains he carried – our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.” (vs. 4a). So as we walk forward through Lent to the power and majesty of the Resurrection, let us remember – we know the One who can make a difference in our life and help us to live the radical Gospel of Jesus Christ!
God of transformations, help me to look for the opportunity today to make a difference in someone’s life and so bring glory to You.