by Graziano Marcheschi, M.A. D.Min
Song 1 — The Servant of the Lord
It is the voice of God we hear proudly introducing “my servant… with whom I am well pleased.” The painful destiny of this Servant isn’t mentioned in this brief song. Instead, like a
soldier outfitted for battle or an explorer prepared for mission, the
Servant is extolled for who he is and for the courage, patience,
gentleness, and fidelity that will distinguish his service. Often, brave
individuals volunteer for difficult missions, but God’s Servant
was chosen. The hand of God is upon him and God’s own Spirit hovers over
him. This Servant will not be an individualistic maverick getting the
job done “his way.” He will be a gentle agent of God’s will, not
shouting in the streets as was typical of prophets, but moving quietly
and humbly among the people, distinguishing the weak from the strong,
never breaking even a “bruised reed” because God’s Spirit sent him to
heal and strengthen the weak, to mend and restore the hearts of all who
are losing hope or have been cast aside by the rich and the mighty.
text offers even an image of those who are too weak to raise their
heads and burn with the light of faith. Because they cling too close to
the wax, dimly burning wicks offer little light and the slightest breeze
will extinguish them. Yet even these the Servant will not quench. He
comes not to condemn the weak of heart and slow of faith but to invite
them into the kingdom of God’s justice. Through the Servant’s ministry,
the “bruised reed” will be strengthened and the “dimly burning wick”
will be enflamed. The Servant himself will never wane or weaken; he will
faithfully accomplish the will of the Lord and establish justice in the
Lent comes around each year to invite those of us who have
grown weak or dim to hear afresh God’s promise and receive anew the
Servant’s healing touch. The ends of the earth await his teaching and
they will not be disappointed. And neither will the recesses of our
hearts that await the warmth of his healing and reconciling love.
Questions for ReflectionIn what ways have you experienced in your life the gentle, patient love of God?
parts of you are “bruised” or “dimly burning?” Do these areas distance
you from God or do they open you all the more to his merciful grace?
what ways do you see the justice of God enfleshed on the earth? Where
is it sorely lacking—both in your life and within society?
How might you share in the ministry of God’s Servant of healing and strengthening the weak and oppressed?
Lenten Prayer & Reflection Links