Tuesday, January 8, 2008
For Sunday, January 13 - Beyond Limitations
This is the 2nd of the “Servant Songs” in Isaiah. It speaks of God’s mission for his servant and his people. As we study God’s purpose for the Servant, we’ll try to see how the Servant relates to us and what the mission has to do with us. How does understanding Jesus’ purpose and mission change us?
The past couple of weeks, thanks to some time off and wonderful people like Peter Clay and Gavin Silaski preaching, I've had the chance to do more reading than usual and actually think of things besides, "What am I going to say in the sermon this week?"
Turns out that life/God has been pelting me from various directions with messages about direction and purpose and what God really wants me to be doing. Which is sort of where this passage seems to be pointing as well - for the Servant, who Christians believe to be Jesus. We tend to think that Jesus was born with a God-brain and perfectly clear sense of who he was, what he was supposed to do in life. But I doubt that was the case. Part of being human is growing, maturing, finding what it is we are supposed to be and do. So if Jesus was fully human (as well as fully God), he probably had to develop a sense of his mission and purpose too. The servant songs of Isaiah may have been a big part of finding his identity. How do we find our purpose?
I've been reading books (slowly, yes) that are disturbing like NT Wright's Evil and the Justice of God, and The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical by Shane Claiborne. And I've recently listened to an interview with Jean Vanier, a philosopher and Catholic social innovator who created a model of community, L'Arche - a community for people with special needs due to developmental disabilities.
I think my mind is about to explode, but this is all a part of the "message pelting" that God is doing. It relates to Isaiah 42 for me because God is repeating a life-long message for each of us that our lives are meant to be about more than just getting through another day or even finding "what makes us happy." There is purpose and meaningful work that he has for each person. Finding and doing that means that we have to go beyond the limitations we put on ourselves - or that our faith can put on us. And normally that simply means we have to get out of our ruts and do some things differently each and every day.
Yes I'm rambling. That's what a blog is. Your thoughts, your ideas? Is anyone out there?