Tagged: new thing

Isaiah 42:1-9

This text is used for the Lectionary Year A on January 8th, 2017.

The structure of the passage is quite succinct and clear. The first half (vv. 1-4), God was speaking directly to the servant. In so doing, God affirmed the servant by declaring him as being approved and empowered. God even foretold of the servant’s future success. Verse 5 is a transition that will lead to God speaking directly to the servant. In the remainder of the passage God turned His attention to the servant (vv. 6-9), He affirmed and reassured the servant had been commissioned and empowered by God to accomplish the task for which he had been called.

This servant’s method was much different from that of the kings of the day. The servant would not complain and “shout or cry out” (v. 2) when the responsibility became overly difficult and burdensome. Neither would this servant treat those who were considered less or disadvantaged – the “bruised reed” and “smoldering wick” (v. 3) – as objects to be discarded. No, this servant would be in great contrast of the kings; Cyrus, Josiah or Jehoiakim, of the servant’s day.

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Isaiah 43:16-21

This text is used for the Lectionary Year C on March 13, 2016.

By the Water - Saryan
By the Water – Saryan

George Lakoff described the importance of linguistic framing in his book, Don’t Think of an Elephant. He describes an experiment. He recorded that when someone tells a listener not to think about an object, it frames the issue so that the listener now cannot avoid thinking about what you asked them not to think about. So whenever he asked people not to think of an elephant they were unable to not think about an elephant. Isaiah 43:16-21 invites the reader to disregard previous salvation history.

The passage (vv. 16-21) reframes the historical perception concerning the anticipated fall of the Babylonian Empire to Cyrus. The first section of this unit contains a description of God in history (vv. 16-17). The second section instructs and challenges the community to eschew remembrance of the past. The third section describes the “new age”(vv. 18-21).

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