“Many followed Him, and He healed them all… This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: ‘Behold, My Servant whom I have chosen, My Beloved with whom My soul is well pleased. I will put My Spirit upon Him… He will not quarrel or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets; a bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick He will not quench … and in His Name the Gentiles will hope.’” (Matthew 12:15b , 17a, 18a, 20a, 21 ESV)
Have you ever seen a candle about to go out? A thin long trail of smoke rises, and there is almost no orange left. In a minute it will be out.
Or think of a reed, once someone has stepped on it and crushed it. “Well, that plant isn’t coming back,” we say. “Might as well get rid of it.”
There are people like this too—people who are so harmed, so battered by the circumstances of their lives, that we are tempted to give up on them. “After surviving that hell, he’ll never find love or friendship.” “I could never live like those people.” “Sick as she is, it would be better if God just took her home.”
But God doesn’t think so. Jesus doesn’t think so. And in Isaiah’s prophecy, God makes this gentle, long-suffering compassion a hallmark of the Messiah. Nobody is too far gone for Him. Nobody is past His mercy, His love, His attention. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you have done. Jesus is here for you. His arms are waiting for you—those arms He once stretched out on a cross, for you.
WE PRAY: Dear Lord, help me to see and believe in Your love. Amen.
* Name a tiny act of care someone did for you that meant everything to you.
* What is one small way you remember God cares about you?
* Who can you show love to today?
Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on March 2, 2023
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights reserved