Stop and thank God for being present with you today. Ask for God’s guidance as you hear God’s voice through scripture and the writer.
Matthew 12:15-21 (NRSV)
When Jesus became aware of this, he departed. Many crowds followed him, and he cured all of them, and he ordered them not to make him known. This was to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah:
“Here is my servant, whom I have chosen,
my beloved, with whom my soul is well pleased.
I will put my Spirit upon him,
and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.
He will not wrangle or cry aloud,
nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets.
He will not break a bruised reed
or quench a smoldering wick
until he brings justice to victory.
And in his name the Gentiles will hope.”
When Jesus embarked upon his public ministry, he did so without a lot of fanfare. He didn’t mount an advertising campaign. In fact, he pretty much discouraged those he encountered from offering any free publicity, which defies just about everything we hear now about “doing ministry.” As a rule, it is certainly not the way we do things today.
Matthew, in describing Jesus’ early ministry, drew upon the writings of Isaiah, seeing in Jesus a fulfillment of those writings. The ministry of Jesus moved forward because God’s Spirit was upon him. In the power of God’s Spirit, Jesus went forth, proclaiming God’s justice. In doing so, Jesus did not resort to heavy-handed methods of putting down others. “He will not break a bruised reed,” Isaiah had written centuries earlier.
The people of in the United States, we have just witnessed a presidential campaign that has been described as the most negative in modern history. At the end of this election, I found myself, as a minister, offering pastoral care to people who were living in fear as a result of what our nation was put through. What we witnessed in the election of 2016 was not the way of Jesus.
God, have mercy on us for the “breaking of bruised reeds.” Forgive our sins, and heal our land. We pray in the name of your Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Go with God.