Posted on Dec 13, 2020

13 December 2020

A friend of mine who has been a newspaper reporter for years says that he never just writes a story,

he always writes it for someone.

In his case he always writes his articles for his mother-in-law.

I have a similar stance.  I always write my homilies with someone in mind—My father.

If it wouldn’t make sense to him, or he thought I was just mouthing pious piffle he’d let me know.

Today when I hear the Isaian proclamation I have just the edge of an image that the author knew what he was talking about.

You see, I don’t believe the Isaian author was writing theoretically about the lowly, or brokenhearted.

Each time he used descriptive terms, he knew someone that fit each term.

He knew what he was writing about, in the flesh.

Like my friend who works for a newspaper, he isn’t just writing a story,

he is writing for someone.

Today, when I, from my vantage point, look out over this assembly and see all of your faces, I also

know he was writing for all of you and for me.

We could connect our names and stories to the categories of people that the Isaian author mentions here.

I wonder though, if we can identify with what he is talking about,

can we also hear what he is saying to and for us,

that the Lord comes, that his favor is upon us?

For those of us who have come here today and know ourselves to be the lowly, the brokenhearted, the captive, it is in some ways very hard for us to hear the Isaian proclamation announcing God’s favor.

We have been hurt and are hurt.  That is what we understand now.  It is easy for our skepticism to run high, God is not to be trusted.

In the middle of all this we hear Paul say:

“He who calls us is trustworthy, if he says it, he will do it.”

Paul knew enough of the brokenness of life to be a skeptic,

yet what he became is more deeply committed in faith to Jesus.

May it be so for us as well.

For now, it is good for us to remember that the Isaian author was writing

not just theoretically but for someone.

And in most cases that someone is us.