Today is Thursday the 23rd June, the feast of the Birthday of Saint John the Baptist.
The Kyiv Chamber Choir sing In Thy Kingdom from One Thousand Years Of Ukrainian Sacred Music.
(Lyrics currently unavailable)
Today’s reading is from the book of Isaiah.
Listen to me, O coastlands,
pay attention, you peoples from far away!
The LORD called me before I was born,
while I was in my mother’s womb he named me.
He made my mouth like a sharp sword,
in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
he made me a polished arrow,
in his quiver he hid me away.
And he said to me, ‘You are my servant,
Israel, in whom I will be glorified.’
But I said, ‘I have laboured in vain,
I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;
yet surely my cause is with the LORD,
and my reward with my God.’
And now the LORD says,
who formed me in the womb to be his servant,
to bring Jacob back to him,
and that Israel might be gathered to him,
for I am honoured in the sight of the LORD,
and my God has become my strength—
‘It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
to raise up the tribes of Jacob
and to restore the survivors of Israel;
I will give you as a light to the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.’
Isaiah calls the whole world to pay attention to the people of Israel whom God has chosen as his own. Not everyone likes being in the spotlight, but you might like to imagine God telling those people close to you just how special you are. What would God say to them?
Isaiah says that it is not enough for Israel to look inwards upon itself. It must also be a light for all the nations. What is the light that you bring to the people around you?
Listening again to God’s song of love for his people, notice the doubts that Israel has, and notice that when Israel doubts, God extends trust even further. In your life, what are the areas where you need a deeper trust in God so that your light can shine all the more brightly?
Concluding this time of prayer, you might like to enter into a conversation with the Lord about whatever is going on between you and God at this stage in your life. How do you want to respond to the invitation to be a light for all the peoples of the earth?
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.