Scripture Reading — Isaiah 49:1-6
In the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in his quiver.
Isaiah 49:2 —
I’ve helped churches host services geared to folks who were not yet Christians. A good time to do it was around national holidays devoted to family or romance or harvest. Using popular songs, drama, dance, visual arts, and well-presented messages, we explored with our guests the gospel truth. Some devout believers trace their spiritual awakenings to services like these.
But these services are a lot of work. To borrow a picture from our reading, the arrows require a lot of polishing. How will visiting children be cared for? Is the message understandable to those who are not familiar with Christian vocabulary? Do we print a special program and invitation cards? What is our strategy for keeping in contact with the people we meet? It’s a labor of love!
As Isaiah tells us, God’s servants exist to display his splendor. It’s our burden and our reward. This splendor is too magnificent to be reserved for “members only” because in the fullness of time Love revealed the perfect arrow—Christ—and aimed it at the world’s lost heart. In Christ, we too are aimed at the lost, arcing to every island remote from his communion, to every horizon not lit up by the truth of what God has done for us.
Look for his beautiful bow over your neighborhood.
Thank you, Perfect Love, for piercing us and setting us free. The ache reminds us of how lost we were without you and how good it will be for all to come home. Amen.