Given by Rev. Madison Shockley October 24, 2021

The reading today is called the Passage of the Suffering Servant. The question is who is this suffering servant? They absorb on behalf of us, our pain and suffering. Traditional Christianity applies this to Jesus. This passage was from the Hebrew Bible. This was written 700 years before Jesus. Who was Isaiah referring to then? There was a massive invasion by Babylon and most of the Jewish people were taken as slaves. Scholars believe the faithful remnants of the Jewish people who remained were the ones being punished and suffering for the sinful nation. This punishment falls on both the guilty and the innocent. It was these people that Isaiah was probably referring to when he wrote this passage. Today, we are appropriating this motif and applying it to something new. Our world is suffering. Earth is the innocent servant and we are the guilty ones. We cannot think about the Earth only once a year. We are polluting our world every day. As the Earth responds, we suffer disaster after disaster. The Third World is being hit particularly hard. We have to change our American way of life. We don’t seem to be ready to give up the conveniences of our way of life. That will change as the world sinks deeper into trouble. It is up to each of us to change. Look to your life to find ways you can change to be more sustainable. We need to be like the faithful remnants showing the way for others to follow. Be the one to suffer for the sake of others in order for all to be saved.