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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
August 16, 2014

GOD's Message:
Guard my common good:
     Do what's right and do it in the right way,
For salvation is just around the corner,
     my setting-things-right is about to go into action.
How blessed are you who enter into these things,
     you men and women who embrace them,
Who keep Sabbath and don't defile it,
     who watch your step and don't do anything evil!
Make sure no outsider who now follows GOD
     ever has occasion to say, 'GOD put me in second-class.
     I don't really belong.'
And make sure no physically mutilated person
     is ever made to think, 'I'm damaged goods.
     I don't really belong.'

Isaiah 56:1-3 (Message*)

Isaiah was speaking at a time when many around him saw God as blessing a particular ethnic group, largely to the exclusion of others; and the idea that handicaps showed that people were not blessed by God and were “unclean” was the norm. So in its historical context, it is really a powerful message of liberation - that God doesn't judge people by their ethnicity or their physical condition. No one who follows God's way is second class.

We need to look at any ways we might classify people that does not respect their worth and dignity. These might not be the particular ways that Isaiah's culture did this, but we need to look at this message as much broader than the particular examples given. We need to learn to look at people with God's eyes.

Bill Samuel

* The Message version ©2002 by Eugene H. Peterson.

©2014 Friends in Christ, Inc.

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Document last modified on Saturday, 23-Aug-2014 20:34:35 EDT