December 2, 2020 — A Relentlessly Gentle Love 

“Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or cry out or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his teaching the islands will put their hope.” — Isaiah 42:1-4 

As our hearts turn to Bethlehem and that first Christmas morning, it’s hard to imagine just how perfectly wonderful Jesus is. As I read today’s focal Scripture this question comes to mind: how can this servant bring justice to the nations with such a gentle demeanor? As you read you see that this servant “will not shout or cry out”, yet he will bring justice to the nations. This servant will not “raise his voice in the streets”, but he will bring forth justice. He “will not falter or be discouraged” but he will establish justice on earth. How? Relentless, gentle love. 

Notice how Jesus handles the broken and hurting. “A bruised reed he will not break” conveys the gentle way in which Jesus handles the hearts of men. Remember, it is God’s kindness that draws us to repentance. Knowing that Jesus will not “snuff out” a smoldering wick shows how He interacts with hearts that once must have been burning bright but now have faded. He won’t ignore them; these are the very ones He came to save. The bruised, those whose fire is going out, these are the ones that Jesus is calling back to God for healing and restoration.  

So… is God love or justice? Yes. Is Jesus gentle or did He come to restore justice? Both. Often the false choices we are forced to make in human culture can find their way into our understanding of who God is. Jesus came full of grace AND truth. It isn’t an either/or but a both/and dynamic. God is full of compassion and truth, grace and mercy, holiness and justice, righteousness and kindness. God is the perfect manifestation of all these things, the greatest of these is love.  

Today I pray that as you turn your heart to the manager, that the shadow of the cross would not fade. Christmas without the crucifixion is meaningless. The birth of Jesus without His death and resurrection hold now power. As Paul said: if Jesus hasn’t risen from the dead, we are still dead in our sins. Today, let us rejoice knowing that Jesus came as God’s servant to right every wrong and to bring true justice and peace to mankind. In the life, death, and resurrection we come to know true peace and restoration of our relationship with God. 

Father, today we confess that sometimes it can be difficult to understand who you are. God reminds us that if we could explain who you are fully, you wouldn’t be God, we would. Lord help us to trust in the truth you have revealed in Scripture about who you are. Help us remember that You are more wonderful than we could imagine and Your love for us motivated You to give Your only Son Jesus to come as a ransom for our lives. Thank you for Your servant and the relentless, gentle love He shows to us all, in Jesus name, amen. 

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