The prophet Isaiah in exile speaks four times of a servant of the Lord who will do God’s will and redeem God’s people. During these late Lenten days, we will look at those poems, consider how we see the servant of the Lord in the face of Jesus, and ask ourselves how God is calling us to be servants of the Lord in the Jesus way in our day.
March 26 – 4th Sunday in Lent
Text: Isaiah 42:1-9; Luke 10:25-37
Title: A Servant of Mercy
Theme: As Christians, we see Jesus described in Isaiah as the servant of God. As Christians, we are to follow Jesus and his ways, showing mercy, standing for justice. In the Luke reading, we see an example of mercy “in real life.” Doing this is not easy, it may cause suffering, but we do it because of Jesus.
April 2 – 5th Sunday in Lent
Text: Isaiah 49:1-7; John 12:20-36
Title: A Servant Who Perseveres
Theme: In Isaiah, the servant is growing weary. He knows God called him, but he is starting to feel as though he has done all he can with these people. Surely God understands and will give him his reward. God responds with a NO! God wants more than Israel; God wants all people – salvation to the ends of the earth. In the John reading, Jesus talks of God being glorified, and God even speaks in the passage. Verse 32 is a great connection to the Isaiah reading, as Jesus says, “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” By the 5th Sunday of Lent we may be tired, but we keep going. We have a mission – to be a light to the nations/bring all people to God, and to glorify God.
April 9 – Palm/Passion Sunday
Text: Isaiah 50:4-9; Matthew 27:11-54
Title: A Servant of Sacrifice
Theme: In the Isaiah reading, we see the servant sacrificing himself because he knows that God stands beside him. He has listened to God’s voice, he has learned from the Master, and now he is not disgraced or shamed because he is doing this for God. This is what enables Jesus to sacrifice himself on the cross, and to do it without a “fuss.” He’s doing it for God, and God’s people. As Christians, we need to learn what sacrifice is, and learn to sacrifice for God, not just ourselves or our families.