Behold my servant, whom I uphold, 

   my chosen in whom my soul delights;

I have put my Spirit upon him; 

   he will bring forth justice to the nations.

Isaiah 42: 1

God is not just a distant observer. He sees and He feels. He hears our pleas for mercy, and His heart is broken by the cruel and calculating way that we deny that desired mercy to our world’s oppressed and disadvantaged people. Our planet sees very little grace and even less love, and we are all diminished because of our self-centered and God-denying ways of thinking about others and of acting toward them. Too many people live their lives in active pursuit of isolation and with hearts set on protection from pain and loss. Throughout history individuals have listened to God’s call to see people differently and to attempt to lead us into peace and understanding. Yet, our world is probably worse off today as regards our care for and about others than it ever has been.

Listening to God and allowing Him to move us to action is not only a good thing; it is the right thing to do. When we feed the starving, protect the weak, provide shelter to the homeless, and champion justice for those who are voiceless; we are responding to the expressed desire of God’s heart. Still, very little changes in our world. The pain and the suffering of people throughout the world does not end. Hope continues to elude our grasp, and it is easy to give up on efforts at bringing relief to the victims of strife and commerce. In the face of it all, God says, “Behold My servant.”

There is only one answer to all of the sadness and the pain of life in our world. This is different from the way that we usually see things. For our human tendency is to make the cause the focus. We devise programs for feeding and for housing. We cry out for justice, and we speak stridently in favor of laws that would protect the right of the unborn to draw breath. Again, these are not bad things to become engaged in. However, they are not the cause, and the best of results in each and every one of these areas of concern is not what God desires to see. Every noble cause that people can devise finds its true strength and effectiveness as it is subordinate to Christ. The desired outcome of all of these efforts should be His proclamation in our world. The only hope for lasting justice is found in Christ. Regardless of the nobility of the cause, Christ must be the focus and He must reign over it all. When Christ’s name is the banner that we follow, His justice, mercy, and peace will be known in our world.