January 9

“I’ve put my Spirit upon him to bring justice to the nations. He won’t cry out or shout aloud… . He won’t break a bruised reed; he won’t extinguish a faint wick, but he will surely bring justice” (Isaiah 42:1b.4) I remember occasionally watching Mr. Rogers with my children. For a children’s program he took on some hard issues–including bullying and death–always with a calm, non-anxious voice. A couple Presbyterian pastors I served with years ago assured me he did become anxious about “written tests;” they claimed he requested to take tests in seminary orally. I don’t know know if those reports are true. I do know he had a gift of communicating care with the spoken word. When I read the words from Isaiah 42 about how to recognize God’s chosen, Mr. Rogers, is one of the ‘celebrity’ leaders I think of.

There are many others I think of who have similar characteristics–they don’t should aloud and work hard to avoid extinguishing others light, especially if the wick is faint. As followers of Jesus, the church, we are called to lead the world into God’s arms by exhibiting the same traits. Today, the Scripture asks us, “Where can we choose to speak without shouting?” “Who is like a bruised reed that we are called to be gentle with?” “Where must we move carefully to avoid stirring the winds that will extinguish a faint wick of another’s hope?”

Isaiah says, The messiah may be gentle, but he will never be extinguished or broken. His justice will prevail. Today, take heart in being kind. Be strong in standing with the weary. God’s goodness and justice will prevail.


Pastor Roger