God on Monday
‘I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard. I did not hide my face from insult and spitting’ (Isaiah 50.6).
This verse from Isaiah 50 is set within powerful prophesies about a Servant of God who will bring God’s justice and salvation to the world.
As I read these prophesies, I am struck that God's justice here is not about punishing the guilty but restoring the broken and oppressed. In that restoration work, the servant will bring light to those in darkness, free the prisoners, and release the captives. But he will not do so at a distance. Rather, the servant will suffer the effect of the very evils he overturns. He will do so willingly, as the above verse makes clear.
Today there are countless examples of insult, injury, oppression, and injustice. People are enslaved, marginalized, and discriminated against. Often the basis for such abuse is simply race, gender, religion, or class.
The message of these chapters in Isaiah is that God sees and cares about the plight of the oppressed and is engaged in a great work of restoration that will bring them justice.
Followers of Christ - the One in whom these prophesies are fulfilled - are called to participate daily in this work of God. They are called to be agents of change in their communities, including their work communities, and to stand up for the oppressed and marginalised.
Holy Week reminds us that Jesus’ passion and brutal crucifixion was an act of great injustice and violence. His endurance in the face of it reflects that he was obedient to his call and lived and died on behalf of the oppressed.
Can we find the courage and same audacious spirit of the Servant of God to live our lives in response to the call to become part of God’s restoring work?
During these last days of Lent, let's look for forms of oppression, inequity, and injustice that surround us in our everyday lives. Let us understand them, name them, and repent of any part we might have in them. Let us seek out how God want to use us to restore and repair.
Take a few moments to meditate on the vivid imagery of the text above. Ask yourself, ’where are the spaces in my spirit, life, and heart that need the restoration of God?’
Then ask God, ’where are you inviting me to work alongside you as a restorer?’
This Week's Author
, Regional Director, International Alert
God on Monday is produced in partnership with the Church of England. The reflections are based on the scriptural readings designated for the coming Sunday in the Church's lectionary. You can sign up to Faith in Business here to receive each God on Monday instalment.
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