Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Loving softly

Isaiah 42:1-9
The Servant, a Light to the Nations
Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
I have put my spirit upon him;
he will bring forth justice to the nations.
He will not cry or lift up his voice,
or make it heard in the street;
a bruised reed he will not break,
and a dimly burning wick he will not quench;
he will faithfully bring forth justice.
He will not grow faint or be crushed
until he has established justice in the earth;
and the coastlands wait for his teaching.
Thus says God, the Lord,
who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
who gives breath to the people upon it
and spirit to those who walk in it:
I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness,
I have taken you by the hand and kept you;
I have given you as a covenant to the people,
a light to the nations,
to open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
from the prison those who sit in darkness.
I am the Lord, that is my name;
my glory I give to no other,
nor my praise to idols.
See, the former things have come to pass,
and new things I now declare;
before they spring forth,
I tell you of them.

A servant who will not raise his voice
who will be gentle and effective.
In stark contrast to the false prophets of today
who deafen with their clamour
proclaiming evil
denouncing justice
Oppressing the unfortunate
while lining the pockets of the rich.
Inciting fear of the other 
encouraging isolation and insularity
Where are those gentle activists
with their random acts of grace?
Where are those who distil peace
with their calm assurance
that love is stronger than any force
more persistent than any invective
more tenacious than any deeply embedded opinion
More resilient than any tissue of lies.
We long for that new kingdom
to be born in our midst today.
We look for signs 
of its springing up
out of the darkness.
And, to hasten its arrival
we keep on practising love
with heart and soul and mind.

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