I will make you a light to the nations… 15Jan2017

Sometimes—maybe more often than we care to admit or recognize—the words and message of scripture are a little too obvious. Notice the tenor of the words of Isaiah in the first reading. Twice he refers to himself as a servant of the Lord, who formed me as His servant from the womb, to call the Chosen People of God back to their true heritage, back to the God who gives them life and sustains them, to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and restore the survivors of Israel.

Then God raises the bar. He says, it is too little for you to be my servant. I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth. God’s presence in the world was never meant to be limited to a few. When the Israelites first took the land of Canaan, the Promised Land, they were to cleanse it, sanctify it, and live holy lives in accordance with God’s design. Instead, they fell into the ways of their pagan neighbors.

When Jesus offered Himself to John for Baptism it was not to be cleansed of sin but to sanctify the waters by which each of us would be sanctified, so that, through Baptism, I would become a light to the nations. Our church, each Sunday, may be a place of refuge and comfort for me but my time in it is temporary. Every Sunday I am re-sanctified in my Baptismal holiness to go out and be a light to the nations If I fail to do this, the light dims and I am no longer worthy to even be called God’s servant.

Deacon Richard


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