Reflection for Today ▶️ ⏹️

Come With Me 9, Ellie Davies, from the Come With Me New Forest installation, 2011

And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them. They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, that say to the molten images, Ye are our gods. Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see.
Isaiah 42:16-18

Isaiah 42 contains the first of the four 'servant songs' taken by early Christians (and ever since) to be a prophesy of the coming—and second coming—of Jesus Christ. Hebrew scholars by contrast interpret 'the servant' to be the nation of Israel herself. It is a debate of millennia which I have no wish to engage in. Regardless of who Isaiah is writing about, it is who he is writing for that interests me. For those of us who read scripture, this message is for us, for today. It is we who are blind and deaf, we who are in need of new perception.

We do not need to be of any religious persuasion to admit that our vision is limited. We are all worshippers of some idol or another, some graven image that is not the whole truth, and in our worship we are blinded by our belief and bias, unable to see the bigger picture, unable to appreciate someone else's perspective. The ills of the world are born of false idol worship because all idols are localised, all are of this world, this time, this place, and thus all are divisive. We can never arrive at a common place while we follow that which divides us. God's promise is that if we are able to let go of the things that serve us (wealth, power, control, oppression, elitism...) and choose instead to serve, we may have our eyes opened to something far greater, some universal binding truth. This is a promise for all people, for all time: choose to look, and you will see.