January 29

A bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench. Isiah 42:3 

“The Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10

Ever have trouble getting a candle to light? The wick needs to be strong enough to keep the flame going. It needs to be high enough above the wax to not go out by sinking into the wax.  If it doesn’t burn very well, the light is dim and it quickly goes out. Or maybe there is a breeze near the candle, and it will not stay lit. There are days when we might feel like this, things aren’t going so well and the least thing could be enough for our light to go out.

Isaiah is referring to troubled people in this verse: a weak person (the bruised reed) who has perhaps had a lot of things go wrong; lots of troubles have happened. Rather than being a bright light, they find their energy dim, their faith weak. Does God then come along and make it worse? Send someone to get rid of the weak and those who are not strong in the faith? Not at all. . In Isaiah 42:1 it says “here is my servant” one in whom God delights. God’s Spirit will be on him and he will bring justice to the nations. The servant comes to mend broken lives.

The verse from Luke is at the end of the story of Zacchaeus, a person who might be thought of as weak and of little faith. Jesus calls him to come down from that sycamore tree, and then Jesus actually goes to his house. Jesus, the Son of Man, came to us as a servant.  He came not only to save the lost but to actually seek us out. Just think, we are so important to our Lord that He comes to us with His saving grace. He comes to all people, sinners and saints.

We are grateful for your tenderness, Jesus. We have no strength of our own on many days. We cling to your promise to be with us always no matter how weak and lost we feel. Lead us today to shine brightly, reflecting your light and love to the lost and helping those who are bruised. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.

Chris Gabel