Monday in Holy Week – Isaiah 42:1-9
“Here is my servant, whom I uphold . . . He will not cry or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street. . .a bruised reed he will not break.” (Isaiah 42:1-3; NRSV)
Whether it was intended that way or not, the early Church associated this statement of the prophet Isaiah with Jesus. It is certainly descriptive of Jesus’ behavior during the week we call Holy Week, the last week of his earthly ministry. While most of the citizenry of Jerusalem was hoping for and looking for a mighty warrior to lead them against their Roman overseers, Jesus entered the city as a man of peace, not on a warhorse, but on a donkey. He willing accepted all that was to occur to him, did not resist his arrest, put up no defense at his religious and his state trial, and died on a Roman cross without any threats crossing his parched lips.
In a world that sees all successful interactions as power versus power, we who claim the name of Jesus would do well, especially during this Holy Week, to meditate upon how our Lord acted to confront power, winning victory over both imperial power and death as He did so. It is not the way of the world, but it is the way of God who has given us Christians, as He did ancient Israel, “as a light to the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.” (Isaiah 42:6-7 NRSV)
God of the vulnerable, as we contemplate the events commemorated by Holy Week, give us the wisdom, and the courage, to confront power that is opposed to You and your purposes in ways that are Your ways and not the world’s ways. Amen.
–Fr. Larry Parrish, St. Thomas Episcopal Church