Today’s Holy Week Reading
Hear me, O islands, listen, O distant peoples. The LORD called me from birth, from my mother’s womb he gave me my name. He made of me a sharp-edged sword and concealed me in the shadow of his arm. He made me a polished arrow; in his quiver he hid me. You are my servant, he said to me,
Israel, through whom I show my glory.
Though I thought I had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength, Yet my reward is with the LORD, my recompense is with my God. For now the LORD has spoken who formed me as his servant from the womb, That Jacob may be brought back to him and Israel gathered to him; And I am made glorious in the sight of the LORD, and my God is now my strength! It is too little, he says, for you to be my servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and restore the survivors of Israel; I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.
(If you would like to read all of today’s scripture readings please visit http://www.nccbuscc.org/nab)
The daily readings this week are truly wonderful. Last night the reading from Isaiah was a wonderful representation of peace and hope and of God’s wish for the fullness of all joy for us. Today we hear more of Isaiah.
I Love the image, the notion, the very promise that God called me, called you from birth. I must confess that I feel assured when I read of God’s knowledge of me even in the womb. It assures me and it frightens me all at once. I don’t mean a scared kind of frightened, more of an “O my gosh! …God’s knows it all about me! Even the not so pretty stuff!” But yet, God says “you are my servant.”
I wonder do we hear those words. Do we comprehend how wonderful it is that God has called us, each and every one? I think at times we too feel, as the prophet did, that we “toiled in vain and for nothing, uselessly, spent [our] strength…” I can say with great honesty that there are days that I feel that frustrated. I am certain that we can all say the same. To use a couple of colloquialisms, how often do we all feel that we are chasing our tails, and beating our heads against the wall?
When we feel that frustration we need to hear the words of the prophet. “My reward is with the LORD, my recompense is with my God. For now the LORD has spoken who formed me as his servant from the womb…” God has promised us to be our strength when we are weak, our hope when we are in despair. Today’s Holy Week readings remind us of who we are. We are God’s beloved children, “light to the nations,” and survivors. We are the disciples. We are the ones who will love and betray Jesus. We are the ones who will embrace and deny Jesus. Yet we are the light of the nations, the hope of God’s salvation.
God knows me entirely, even the not so pretty stuff. God knows that I can betray and deny and yet God has called me servant. It is a hard week, but I think that is pretty good news indeed!