A Non-Denominational, Bible-teaching Church
Sunday Service 9:30am | 301 Clinton St. Hudson, IL
Matthew 12:18–21 (NIV) (quoting Isaiah 42:1–4)
18 “Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. 19 He will not quarrel or cry out; no one will hear his voice in the streets.
20 A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he has brought justice through to victory. 21 In his name the nations will put their hope.”
We live in days of shouting truth. We long for justice. For things to be set right. But there are people who just won’t get out of the way! So we crave a leader who will sweep away the opposition with the force of their “rightness”. A bulldozer-of-a-person whose motto is “lead, follow, or get out of the way!” How different is our Jesus!
I love camping and starting and maintaining the fire has always been one of my favorite parts. However, as I have aged I have gotten rather lazy with my fire-craft. A butane torch lets me skip well placed tinder, gathered dry twigs patiently fed one at a time of gradually increasing size under a carefully laid out lean-to or log cabin fire lay. At times it seems there is nothing more fragile or stubborn than a smoldering fire-to-be. Too strong of a puff of air and it is out. Too much placed on top of it and it is smothered. Too little fuel added and it blackens itself out before you ever see a flame.
The Holy Spirit prophesied through Isaiah that the Messiah would be so gentle with the in-break of his kingdom of righteousness that not the least inclination to respond to God would be run over. He patiently, with probing questions and tender words, nudged people away from their sins into God’s kingdom of grace, mercy, and righteousness. So many hard hearts are wounded people. Bruised reeds. How easily they can be crushed underfoot. How unlikely that they will thrive and recover… unless with the utmost of love and care. Jesus came binding up our wounds. Supporting what was weak. Fanning in to flame what smoldered of God’s Truth and Image in our fallen nature. The Lord of All, the Creator, the Judge, the King of Righteousness and Master of All Flesh, the Commander of Heaven’s Armies is meek and mild. Humble. Lowly of heart. Never proud and haughty. He had nothing to prove - for he knew who he was. And so he could love selflessly. Serve the least. Gather lost lambs and heal sick souls.
Oh to be like him! Too often the Church has mistaken her warfare as being against flesh and blood rather than the spiritual forces of darkness. She has tried to advance Christ’s Kingdom through crying out in the street rather than crying with the people of the streets. She has tried to argue people into compliance rather than love them into the Kingdom. She has demanded her rights rather than quietly displayed righteousness. Too often, I am afraid, she has caused the lame to stumble. She has broken bruised reeds. She has snuffed out smoldering wicks. Offenses must come, but woe to them through whom they come! Father forgive us and make us lowly as our Lord.