Communion of the Generous
Isaiah 42: 3
3 a bruised reed he will not break,
and a dimly burning wick he will not quench;
he will faithfully bring forth justice.
Amy Carmichael served as a missionary in India for 55 years without any furlough. She once wrote, ‘You can give without loving. But you cannot love without giving.’ In a saint like Amy Carmichael we witness heaven touching earth in an unmistakable way. The greatest example of generous, self-giving love is that of God himself. In sending Jesus, he has given us everything.
From the first, Christians have seen this divine generosity powerfully reflected in Isaiah’s ‘servant songs’. The servant of the Lord comes as the loving Creator’s answer to the world’s sin-caused predicament. He brings the light of truth in a world of darkness, the joy of liberation to a world of enslavement, justice in a world of oppression, healing for a world of dis-ease, and ultimately the renewal of the whole creation, at last filled with the glory of God.
It’s a vision of unbounded generosity and it is put into effect by one who embodies servanthood at its most committed and compassionate. Little wonder that Christians have always seen Jesus represented in Isaiah’s ‘suffering servant’.
To such generosity there can be only one right response. The extravagant action of a deeply thankful Mary of Bethany (John 12) vividly pictures this. Her service to Jesus holds nothing back, even when it leaves her exposed to ridicule.
Along with the example of Mary, let the words of the 6th century Irish nun, St Ita of Killeedy, challenge us today: ‘Three things that please God are true faith in God with a pure heart, a simple life with a grateful spirit, and generosity inspired by love.’ St Columba, for his part, offers us this encouragement: ‘He who does good for others will find his own redoubled many-fold.’
In gratitude for your amazing love in Jesus, help us in his service to live lives of grace-filled generosity and kindness, attentive above all to the needs of those most bruised and broken along life’s way.
Day Thirty Five
Pray for the injustices caused by mankind. We see injustice everyday, take time to stand with someone who is fighting injustice by signing an online petition.
Alternative - Roll your sleeves up and volunteer to make a difference in the world through a volunteering organisation like Vine Trust www.vinetrust.org