… may be the only one who is in step!
Isaiah 50:4-9a is one of the so-called Suffering Servant songs. Appropriated by the Early Church to describe the Passion of Jesus, it initially describes the despair and desolation of the people of Israel as they are led off in chains into Babylonian exile. Suffering the indignity of oppression and humiliation, the composer nevertheless remembers who YHWH has called him to be – one who teaches that the glory of God is a person fully alive (if I may time machine Irenaeus back into the experience of the exiles!), for after all, this composer is a teacher of Israel.
The matter of another people in exile vexes me right now as the question of Australia’s imprisoned and hidden asylum seekers becomes ever darker and more sombre. The voices that seek to amplify their silenced voices are few and far between in the Australian population – such has been the success of politician and media mogul in demonising them. The role of the teacher is to call people to a heart and mind understanding of our true story against the popular myth that is designed for short-term gain.
The story of Israel, the Way of Jesus’ cross and the cry of asylum seekers seem to merge at this point. Isaiah’s poet clutches hope in the most dire of circumstances.
Let’s try for the same!