Isaiah 42:1-9

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.

Reading this first “servant song” of Isaiah, we relate his message to our own individual lives and to our movement to transform the world by living out the Gospel’s teachings of grace, love, justice and inclusion for all of God’s people within The UMC and our world.

In his prophetic role, Isaiah faithfully and forcefully proclaimed God’s truth confronting the people and their leaders with God’s commands and promises. As the voice of God, Isaiah begins by introducing my servant, whom I uphold, have chosen, endowed with the Spirit, in whom I delight and the one who will bring justice to the nations.

As Easter approaches, we see Isaiah’s prophecy fulfilled in God’s Servant-Messiah, Jesus, in whom we are freely justified by grace. As individuals and a movement, we follow Christ and are God’s servant. We are upheld and chosen by God, endowed with the Spirit, and the Creator does delight in each of us having been fearfully and wonderfully made. We too, in faithfulness are called to bring justice.

During this General Conference we will boldly proclaim; be a forceful witness to; and faithfully work to bring forth the entire LYNC Vision. Isaiah reminds the servant to persist with unfailing endurance, even under oppression, until the mission of justice is complete.

Isaiah says the islands put their hope in his law and as Christians during Easter we celebrate our hope in the risen, Servant-Messiah, Jesus. In 2012 we put our hope in Biblical Obedience and in 2016 we place hope in General Conference. The prophet says God makes the servant a light for the Gentiles to open eyes that are closed and to free the captives.

I pray we are a light leading others to Christ and closed eyes are opened this General Conference bringing forth justice and inclusion.

 

 A Season of Becoming: Restoring and being restored for the transformation of the church and world

Giselle Lawn

Giselle is a member of the Reconciling Congregation, St Mark UMC in Atlanta, and a transgender woman, who serves on the RMN board and is a member of the UMATI leadership team.
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