Prayer: Servant Lord, help us to understand what looks like defeat is actually a great victory. Amen
Reading: Isaiah 53: 1-12 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: Truth be told, I have read this passage over and over and just can't come up with anything to write. Frankly, it is a rather disturbing - all about the Suffering Servant. If you skipped over the "(Click to read text)" link, I ask you kindly to go back and actually read it. Lots of despised, rejected, suffering and infirmity talk. What to think? What to write?
But a few words in there struck a chord, literally. A musical chord. Verse 6 - "All we like sheep have gone astray." brings to mind the chorus from Handel's Messiah. Read the words again, think a bit and the tune just might come to you. Got it? Sing it! If you don't know it to sing it, Google it.
Listen carefully to the tune. Voice part by voice part comes in and out going all over this place with a tune that seems rather scattered. Like, um...sheep! Yeah, sheep going astray. There was the scripture text in word, music and concept!
I am not sure when I first understood this musical interpretation of the Isaiah 53: 6 but it certainly stuck with me. So Sunday when our church organist suddenly went into minor key embellishments in the middle of a verse and I totally lost the tune and wondered why/how/what just happened, I looked back at the verse and the words were of suffering, sorrow and death. Ahhh, and the music took us there with the words and helped us understand --Ruth Gates
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