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Friday, July 18, 2014

Bruised Reeds

A bruised reed he will not break,
a smoldering wick he will not quench,
until he brings justice to victory.
And in his name the Gentiles will hope. Mt 12:20

Quoting Isaiah, Jesus assures his followers that he has not come to break or punish  them, but to set them on fire with the justice of God, and God's justice will strengthen them to do God's work in the world. More important, for most who hear this prophetic word, is Jesus' assurance that in his name, the Gentiles will hope. God's entrance into the world through Jesus is not for the Jews alone but for all who are willing to listen.

Listening deeply to anyone takes practice and determination, and is never easy. At times, we are distracted by our own concerns and worries. At other times, the person or community to whom we are trying to listen is not speaking clearly, but more often than not, because we are always multitasking, we fail to hear anything or anyone deeply.

This failure to listen is often the reason why we don't even notice bruised reeds and smoldering wicks, people whose lives and hopes are slipping away. Though we can't pay attention to all the issues of  injustice around the world, there are some horrors that are so awful we must try to respond. There are more than 2 million Syrian refugees, and just because President Obama has requested more than 3 billion dollars to help children who are crossing US borders illegally, does not mean the issue will go away or be addressed. Christians especially, remembering that Jesus promises justice, must stand up and together work for the good of all.

Today, pray for the bruised and battered.

What aspect of faith helps you when you feel lost and broken?

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