Many crowds followed Jesus, and he cured all of them, and he ordered them not to make him known. This was to fulfil what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah: ‘Here is my servant, whom I have chosen, my beloved, with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. He will not wrangle or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets. He will not break a bruised reed or quench a smouldering wick until he brings justice to victory. And in his name the Gentiles will hope.’ [Matthew 12: 15-21]
Here is one way to approach this scripture, based on a guided meditation led by Paul Kennington on Epiphany (January 6). Each of the numbered steps is followed by a few minutes of silence.
1. Settle yourself in to the space where you find yourself. Hear the noises around you. Experience the temperature, the quality and smell of the air you breathe. Then, settle yourself comfortably in your chair. Allow your back to straighten and relax, and feel your feet in contact with the ground, your back and seat supported, your spine rising comfortably towards the very top of your head. Let your breath gently fill your body and bring awareness of every part of you exactly as you are right now. Receive that awareness, in an open minded way.
2. Read this scripture passage again. Allow your mouth to shape each word. Allow your ears to hear the words as if somebody else were reading to you.
3. Picture to yourself a reed growing upwards from the ground. Feel how it is alive, its vitality. How it feels the sun, the air, the weather upon it. How it sways from side to side. Take time to explore the life of this reed. And then, after you have done this with care, picture a bruised reed. What is that like?
4. “Here is my servant, whom I have chosen, my beloved, with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him…. He will not break a bruised reed or quench a smouldering wick until he brings justice to victory.” Imagine that Jesus is here in front of you now. What is that like? Do you speak to each other? Is there a question, an answer, other words, thoughts, images, feelings? Let these rise in you, receiving them gently and freely.
5. When you are ready, return your attention to the space where you find yourself. Take a moment to thank God for the gifts you have received.