What does God desire of you? What does He want? Of course, the most famous answer to that question comes from the prophet Micah - to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God (6:8). But Isaiah has something to say about it, too.
What Isaiah says is this: it is not enough to just be God's servant. He has also made you His light for others. (We saw this on Monday, when we talked about being His covenant with others.) (Isaiah 49)
A lot of us don't get this. We've got it somehow backward in our heads. We think that what God wants from us is for us to be "good Christians" - He wants us to go to church, to read our Bible, to pray, to volunteer every once in awhile for nursery duty or vacation Bible school. We think that what He wants us to do is to put the bumper sticker on our car, wear the T-shirt, and take care of our lawns. What God wants from us is for us to love Him...and for others to know that we love Him and to call us Christians because we are oh, so good Christians.
But remember that that is only the first command, but the second is like it. And that's what Isaiah is saying, too. It's not enough to just love God; we have to also love others. It's what He's created us to do.
And this...this is what we're doing less well.
You've probably heard that the worst time to do anything in America is Sunday around noon, right after church lets out. This is the worst time to go to a restaurant, and heaven forbid you actually work in one on Sundays. Christians are impatient, pushy, and often leave minimal (if any) tip for their wait staff. This is the worst time to go to a grocery store because Christians are in a hurry, pushing and shoving through the aisles, huffing about lines.
For Christians, we'll tell you that the time most of us are "least Christian" is on Sunday morning just trying to get to church. We yell at our families, curse, mumble under our breath, trying to get everyone and everything in order, shouting at one another in the car, reaching over the seats from the front, threatening the kids to settle down so that we can be presentable when we get to the building to show how much we love God.
All the while, we are failing - even on Sundays, before and after church - to love one another. (And during church, but let's not talk about that, shant we?)
Yet God's word is abundantly clear, and in so many places - it's not just about how we love God; it's about how we love others. The New Testament says how we love each other, placing an emphasis on the Christian fellowship, but let's be honest...we're not even doing this. But this has been God's plan even before there was a church, even before Jesus said it. It's the foundation of the Law - love God, love others.
And Isaiah makes it clear. It is not enough to just be God's servant; you were created to also be His light.