Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Isaiah 42:1-9

Epiphany 1 – Year A

Isaiah 42:1-9

Great emphasis is placed upon a "suffering servant" as though it might be the be-all and end-all of our desire. Oh, to be a suffering servant! and all the supposed atonement such is suppose-ed to bring.

We have given far less emphasis to a vocation of justice. It's end is often the receiving of suffering and injustice by one attempting to relieve suffering and injustice. Somehow the cause of justice is eclipsed by the effect of suffering.

In one way or another, giving heed to one's calling will call one forth to justice-living. The arena in which one operates may be large or small, but justice is something that needs to be present at every level of life. To not do one's part where one is causes a vacuum that weakens every other justice-seeking and impedes the spirit-of-G*D.

Not only do we have a vocation of justice, but a vocation of light-bearing whereby we might see and reveal the idolatry of past and present and illumine the way of new things. Justice and Light-Bearing are vocational corollaries.

These two vocations guide our thought today. Another way of coming at this is from the Link of the Week at Text of the Week about The Meaning of Vocation: "'Vocation' is distorted by two disastrous misunderstandings: a secularized idea of 'career' and a monastic concept of the religious life. Both are less than the biblical idea of vocation... Vocation is about being raised from the dead, made alive to the reality that we do not merely exist, but are 'called forth' to a divine purpose."

To be raised from the dead (to be brought up from the waters of baptism to hear one's belovedness) is to have a prophetic vocation worth paying attention to – justice-making and light-bearing – regardless of one's current reality of delivery person, prostitute, or presidential candidate.

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