Magazine article Sojourners Magazine

Mutual Service

Magazine article Sojourners Magazine

Mutual Service

Article excerpt

Isaiah 50:4-9; Psalm 31:9-16; Philippians 2:5-11; Matthew 26:14-27:66

Today's readings focus on the topsy-turvy values of a life lived in God's service. It seems to be a natural part of being human that we yearn for prestige, recognition, and status. Yet God's call on us is to renounce this and instead live a life of humility and gentleness.

This call is summed up in Isaiah 50:4-9, a passage that, like others in this part of Isaiah, talks of God's servant. Here Isaiah speaks of the mutuality involved in service: The servants teach in the same way as they are taught. Just as they hear God's voice, so they also teach it to others. This takes the form of sustaining the weary with a word (Isaiah 50:4). This is one of my favorite images for teaching and pastoral care. The idea that words could provide a means of nurture and care for the weary lies at the heart of what many of us seek to do. …

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