Monday, December 22, 2014

God’s Vision for the World

Over the last couple weeks we have seen the vision God had for the world. In Habakkuk we were urged to write God’s message clearly so all people could read it. In Esther we heard the story of God’s love and vision for the whole community. Today as we heard the lessons read we get the idea God’s vision has grown and is meant to encompass all, Jews and Gentiles, people of faith and people without faith, all people.
The Good News is for all people, and we find that the vision spoken by Isaiah was written and delivered to those who were the least in society.  God’s vision wasn’t, and isn’t, just for the chosen ones, the wealthy and rich, but for the poor, the prisoners, the nations that are downtrodden. It is in fact a vision for all God’s people everywhere.
We hear this passage from Isaiah and immediately think that it’s about the coming of the Messiah. That’s who we think the ‘Suffering Servant’ refers to. It could be that the message wasn’t so much to point the people toward a Messiah but to point the listeners to themselves, the people of Israel. This vision of God’s blessing brings with it a responsibility to work at bringing God’s vision into reality right where we are.
If we look at Isaiah’s message in that way, thinking about us as the Church, and understand that the message isn’t about the Messiah being responsible for telling the Good News but the community of the Church is responsible for interpreting and delivering the message of Good News to our communities and the world. What would our communities look and feel like if the people of the Church were actively working to bring about God’s vision of justice for all?
As our scriptures tell us this ‘light’ has been given to the people of God to light the way for others. So, the question for us is this, “If we are to light the way for others, how are we living this out in our communities and how is it being experienced by those we encounter?” Is this light of God’s incarnation in the world helping people to see and understand God’s vision of justice for all?
God’s vision is for all people. Through the Spirit of God, God’s servants are, and will be, a light to the nations, bringing justice, healing, wholeness, and release to the prisoners. The people of faith, you and me, are God’s servants; our church communities are God’s servants. My hope and prayers is that we don’t think of this passage as someone else’s responsibility to undertake and bring about God’s vision of justice. It isn’t about someone else, it’s about us.
As it’s written in the book of Esther, “For such a time as this” God’s servants are called to work for justice…each and every one of us are called.

Thanks be to God for his gift of grace and faith. Amen.