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Sixth Wednesday

LISTEN

READ
Isaiah 50:4-9

CONTEMPLATE
Welcome to Lent meditation and worship with Westside Church. During this Lenten season, meet us here each day as we read scripture, worship and rest in the presence of God together. Know that as you listen today, you are doing so with others whether in the same space as you or not, and we pray that the Holy Spirit permeates the places we each find ourselves in right now.

Let us start today by clearing our minds and opening our hearts and minds to what the Lord wants to speak to us through His word today. Take a deep breath in and out. And another in and out.

Isaiah 50:4-9
4 The Lord, the Eternal, equipped me for this job—
with skilled speech, a smooth tongue for instruction.
I can find the words that comfort and soothe the downtrodden, tired, and despairing.
And I know when to use them.
Each morning, it is God who wakes me and tells me what I should do,
what I should say.
5 The Lord, the Eternal, has helped me to listen,
and I do as He says. I have not been rebellious or run away from God’s work.
6 But it’s been hard. I offered My back to those who whipped me,
my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard;
I did not turn away from humiliation and spitting.
7 Because the Lord, the Eternal, helps me I will not be disgraced;
so, I set my face like a rock, confident that I will not be ashamed.
8 My hero who sets things right is near.
Who would dare to challenge me?
Let’s stand and debate this head-to-head!
Who would dare to accuse me? Let him come near.
9 See here, the Lord, the Eternal, helps me—who could possibly win against me?
All my accusers will wear out like a ratty old moth-eaten shirt.

Isaiah was the prophet who prophesied Jesus’ coming as Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace, Mighty God and Everlasting Father. He wrote of a beautiful celebration and joy that would be with the birth of Jesus. And just a little bit later in his book, he again prophesies of the Servant of God and how Jesus would suffer.

The very first day of Lent, we read Isaiah 53 and how Jesus would come to be known as the man of sorrows. Next week is Holy Week that leads into Easter. Lent is coming to a close and we can’t forget of the great sacrifice that Jesus made for us. Sometimes it’s easier to think of Jesus crucifixion as just a story that has been passed down through generations. But it’s not just a story. When we look at it head on we can’t help but be confronted with the suffering Jesus went through, for us. For us. God laid the sins of the world on Him, so our debt could be paid. So we could be redeemed and made righteous.

In this chapter, Isaiah not only reminds of the suffering that will come to Jesus, but how Jesus voluntarily walked into that suffering.
“I offered My back to those who whipped me,
    my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard;
I did not turn away from humiliation and spitting.”

Let us not forget, as we get closer to Good Friday, that Jesus suffered, gave up his life, and died willingly FOR US. He wasn’t surprised by any of it. He chose. He chose us. And he would again and again. God’s love poured out of Jesus in every beard hair pulled, and every word of mockery spoken. In all the humiliation, Jesus was not disgraced. He is loved by the Father and chose to love us.

PRAY
Caught between joy and despair, we yearn for the fulfillment of God’s desire beyond the brokenness and neediness of this life. We offer thanksgiving for God’s presence with us and petitions for the transformation of the church and the world.

Life-giver, Pain-taker, Love-maker, day by day you sustain the weary with your word and gently encourage us to place our trust in you, awaken us to the suffering of those around us; save us from hiding in denials or taunts that deepen the hurt; give us grace to share one another’s burdens in humble service. Amen.

WRITE and DISCUSS

  1. As we get closer to Good Friday, how do you feel when thinking about that day? Write what you feel and what sticks out to you in this scripture.