Submitted by Jan on Wed, 11/01/2017 – 08:25
Second Sunday after the Epiphany
Year A (2016-2017)
Bible Book: Isaiah
Chapter: 49
Verse: 1 – 7

Have you ever felt that you have lost your purpose? Or perhaps that you have never found true meaning in life? Circumstances, bad choices, others’ brokenness as well as your own, can distort your understanding of who you are and whose you are.

‘Listen to me’, ‘pay attention’ (verse 1) is a calling to everyone, near and far, to re-focus on God’s plan for humanity in which you play an intrinsic part.

God chose unlikely servants; did he not say to Samuel ‘The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.’ (1 Samuel 16:7 NIV)? Didn’t he choose Shiphrah and Puah, two midwives who saved Israel from genocide (Exodus 1:15-17), Rahab who protected Joshua’s spies (Joshua 2), Mary Magdalene who had seven demons (John 8:2) and the Samaritan woman who become the first evangelist (John 4:4-30)? Jesus refers to himself as one rejected in Matthew 21:42 ‘Then Jesus asked them, “Didn’t you ever read this in the Scriptures? ‘The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone. This is the LORD’s doing, and it is wonderful to see.’ (NLT).

Isaiah 49 points to the work and ministry of Jesus; it speaks of servant hood and of the task God has called his followers.

Like Jesus, he calls you from a seemingly hidden place: ‘from within the womb’ (Isaiah 49:1), form ‘the shadow of his hand’ and ‘his quiver’ (verse 2) and often from a place of no recognition (verse 4). He calls you while you are unseen by people. As the prophet Isaiah describes the servant’s pain, you too may feel that your life has no meaning and your work has been in vain; you may feel disorientated and weak. Trust God for your reward; he will honor and strengthen you so that you may influence those around you and draw them to salvation. The Lord is your redeemer; he will take you from a place of rejection and discouragement to a place of restoration; he will rescue you and his light will shine through you. The assigned purpose is never lost because he is faithful and he has chosen you.

To think about: What principles of servanthood can you identify in this passage and how do they apply to you? Are you an ‘unlikely servant’ chosen by God?

Written By: Pastor Xana McCauley, Rhema, Hands of Compassion, GEMA (Gender Equality Matters)

Author: McCauley X (Past