First Sunday After the Epiphany

Year A Readings:

  • Isaiah 42:1-9
  • Psalm 29
  • Acts 10:34-43
  • Matthew 3:13-17

All the Way to the Coastlands

Isaiah’s camera lens is zooming out
from a close-up shot showing the rubble and despair
of occupied Israel to a wide-angle view,
a cosmic view, of all the nations of the world.
God is not a tribal deity who assures
military mastery or material success for Israel.
He created the heavens and stretched out the earth.
He cares for all living and breathing creatures.

Isaiah promises a spirit-filled servant—
not a conqueror or a tyrant. The servant is the face of justice.
Hard power is swept aside by justice!
The servant will persist until a sense of fairness
holds sway all the way to the coastlands.
Even in this hour as it endures a humiliating plight,
Israel should look beyond itself and serve as a light
to the world by inspiring justice in every land.

January 12, 2020

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