Categorized as a “servant song,” this passage introduces us to a servant who has been faithful to God to an impressive degree. Despite having been reviled by his peers for such devotion, the servant stays true. Just as God will remain committed to us, so the servant remains committed to God. He listens, hears, and responds. He warns the people of the consequences of defying God and instructs them to change their ways, the ways of the world. He encourages them with hope. There are blessings here for you if you choose to follow God instead of humanity.

Because the servant has experienced “insult and spitting” and other indignities firsthand, he will be well-situated to “sustain the weary with a word.” He has been there. I suspect he is able to listen to others tell their hard stories. I believe such holy listening is one of the purest ministries we can offer our fellow pilgrims. Surely we can all recount times in which being listened to by a spiritual companion made a difference for us. Or maybe you’ve been that sacred container for someone else.

I think this servant might be my new hero. He does as God instructs, doesn’t wimp out when he is abused, and respects the power of language—my kind of guy.

When considering this passage, I’m drawn to revisit Psalm 19:14, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” Knowing when to speak—and what to say—and when to listen is an art we all can learn. God shows this servant how it’s done, and God can show us too.

Instill in me a servant’s heart, Lord, so that I listen when others turn away. Fortify me so that I can stand up to opposition, all the while turning my ears toward you. Amen.

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Leer Matthew 21:1-11

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Leccionario Semanal
March 30—April 5, 2020
Resumen de la Escritura

The Liturgy of the Palms readings prepare us for Palm Sunday, when Jesus enters the city of Jerusalem in triumph. The psalmist celebrates the one who comes in the name of the Lord, who is celebrated with palm branches. Matthew then tells the story of Jesus, who enters Jerusalem in this way and is greeted with joy, such that the crowds quote Psalm 118. The Liturgy of the Passion points to the end of that week and the coming suffering of Jesus. Isaiah and the psalmist describe being treated with contempt, beaten, and rejected. In reciting the earliest known Christian hymn, Paul in Philippians emphasizes how Christ surrenders his glory and is subjected to humiliation and death. Matthew recounts the passion of the Messiah, who is rejected as the prophets have foretold.

Preguntas para la reflexión

Read Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29. How has God been steadfast in your life? How do you praise God for this continual presence?
Read Matthew 21:1-11. How would you expect a ruler to enter a city? How is Jesus’ entrance the same? How is it different?
Read Isaiah 50:4-9a. What does being a servant of God look like? How does God help you live as a servant?
Read Philippians 2:5-11. Consider the author’s suggestion that Jesus manifests his divinity by being completely obedient to God. How does this change the way you think about the divine image within you?

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