The Salvation of the Lord

Isaiah 42:1-9

Justice is Served

The world is full of troubling things. Daily, tens of thousands of children die from poverty. Many scientist believe that the rate of extinction today is the highest it’s been since the dinosaurs went extinct 65 million year ago. Violence is happening around the globe and even in our own cities. No matter how troubling these things are, it’s easy to feel helpless and think there is little that can be done to slow them let alone stop them from continuing.

During Isaiah’s time, things were not as the people of Israel wanted them to be. They too encountered numerous injustices and suffering after being conquered and taken as exiles far from the place they called home. They too felt helpless and longed for someone to come and “save the day.”

The prophet Isaiah was a voice of hope. He declared that God would send a servant who would not only make things right but do so in a caring and gentle manner. I’m sure the Hebrew people felt God’s message was fulfilled when they returned to their homeland with the support of the Persian leader Cyrus. Unfortunately, it probably didn’t take long for them to realize that the words of Isaiah were not completely fulfilled. There were still those who felt they were captives; who were imprisoned by the problems of their time. People still longed for that servant of God who would bring justice.

As we begin Holy Week, our focus on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ allows us to see how his ministry fulfilled the words of Isaiah. However, like those who returned from exile, we too still see that countless injustices remain in the world today. The good news is that we are the body of Christ and can continue to fulfill Jesus’ message. Each person who hears Isaiah’s words should understand that we are Christ’s hands and feet and are called to bring about positive change in the world. Each day our small acts of serving others as well as our intentional efforts to deal with the systemic problems that plague our city and our world today will do a great deal to ensure that justice is served and that God’s kingdom is fulfilled on earth.

Reverend Chad J. Cooper, Director, Missions and Community Outreach, Platte Woods United Methodist Church in Kansas City

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