Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Tuesday in Holy Week

The second part [40-55] of the 66-chapter long book of Isaiah contains four Servant Songs; the church reads backwards and identifies the servant as Jesus Christ, though the original servant may have been the nation Israel, the writer of these words, or someone else. The lectionary schedules these during Holy Week.

• 42:1-9 Monday in Holy Week
• 49:1-7 [8-13] Tuesday in Holy Week
• 50:4-9a Wednesday in Holy Week
• 52:13-53:12 Good Friday

Isaiah 49:1-7

1Listen to me, O coastlands,
      pay attention, you peoples from far away!
The Lord called me before I was born,
      while I was in my mother's womb he named me.
2He made my mouth like a sharp sword,
      in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
he made me a polished arrow,
      in his quiver he hid me away.
3And he said to me, "You are my servant,
      Israel, in whom I will be glorified."
4But I said, "I have labored in vain,
      I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;
yet surely my cause is with the Lord,
      and my reward with my God."

5And now the Lord says,
      who formed me in the womb to be his servant,
to bring Jacob back to him,
      and that Israel might be gathered to him,
for I am honored in the sight of the Lord,
      and my God has become my strength—
6he says,
"It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
      to raise up the tribes of Jacob
      and to restore the survivors of Israel;
I will give you as a light to the nations,
      that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth."

7Thus says the Lord,
      the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One,
to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nations,
      the slave of rulers,
"Kings shall see and stand up,
      princes, and they shall prostrate themselves,
because of the Lord, who is faithful,
      the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you."

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