From the Desk of Pastor Mech
These words are intended to humble and strengthen you as we approach Lent.
Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations… A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. -Isaiah 42
And now the Lord says‚ … “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light to the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.” -Isaiah 49
The Lord has opened my ears and I have not been rebellious; I have not drawn back. I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pull out the beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting. Because the Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore I have set my face like flint. -Isaiah 50
See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted‚ … He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows, but we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement that brought us peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed. -Isaiah 53
You probably recognize the above excerpts from Isaiah’s four Servant Songs, from Isaiah 42, 49, 50 and 53. As laser focused as they are on Jesus, they are far from the only exploration of His role as God’s obedient Servant. In our Bible Institute this month we will explore about half a dozen examples of other servants whose suffering and their response to it help us understand our Savior’s mission, Their stories can also be guides for us in our own hurts and challenges.
Former seminary professor Chad Bird brings innovative phrasing and refreshing perspectives to this study of the dramatic lives of Joseph, Moses, Job, David and St Paul. And a variety of teachers will bring their own perspectives and style to the six presentations. Plan to join us in the Fellowship Hall, February 11, 18 and 25, from 2-4:00 pm.
Lent begins in February, as well, on Valentine’s Day (Easter falls on April Fools). We will again be holding services at 4:00 and 7:00, with Board sponsored family meals served between them. May this shortest month figure large in your spiritual meditation and renewal.