Advent Week 4 – Graeme Turner – Isaiah 42:1-4

“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 smouldering 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

Have you ever been caught in your own humanity and felt completely vulnerable?

As a person with vision impairment, I have experienced this many times.

Isaiah 42:1-4 speaks of how God’s servant will come to be with us in our humanity. He, that is Christ, comes to encourage justice across the world. At the same time, He will achieve this with compassion. He will not bruise you as a reed or snuff your flame. In His humanity, He is firm and clear, but in His journey into humanity, He identifies with our own vulnerability and brokenness. Jesus deals with this condition with grace and compassion. While living in the fragility of the human state, He articulates a definite call to justice. The final verse in this passage suggests that even in our fragile isolation, Jesus can still offer us hope of something better.

Jesus comes to us in the form of a baby. Vulnerable in His physical capacity and understanding, and yet He grows to become a strong and gracious leader and teacher. Jesus experiences vulnerability and indeed physical pain in his road to crucifixion, but rises above this to exert victory over darkness and achieve redeeming justice.

In my experience of vision impairment, I know what it is like to be vulnerable and lost. I have been carried past my correct train station to alight on a very unfamiliar platform. For a moment, I felt helpless and alone. Yet there is always eventually a person to ask. A person to show the way.

Imagine then the vulnerability of those with disability in developing countries. Roads are blocked; pavements are uneven or obstructed with rubbish. Lighting can be poor or non-existent. Consider how vulnerable you could feel on streets with no traffic lights and no road rules.

At CBM we can assist in enabling those with disability to find a way through these situations to a better world in which they can become active members of their community and live to their full potential. You can make a difference by offering someone a meaningful gift from our Christmas catalogue. In our humanity, we can still embrace the courage to respond to the call to build a fairer, more just and more inclusive world.

There is indeed power in vulnerability.

Through weakness in His grace, we can still show strength.

Graeme Turner, staff member in the Contact Centre at CBM Australia.

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