Cyrus the Great, king of Persia, ended the exile of the Jews and helped them rebuild their temple. Isaiah marvels at how, although he did not worship God in the Jewish way, this foreign ruler was known to God: “I call you by your name, I surname you, though you do not know me...I arm you, though you do not know me”.
God is not bound by our religious boundaries. Although we might want to designate some as “friends with God” and others as “strangers to God”, God’s sovereignty is such that God can choose to know anyone. Just as God knew the Persian King Cyrus, so God can choose to know the Muslim, or the Hindu, or the person of no recognisable faith at all. Let us who follow Jesus get beyond our need to place labels on people, and offer the same loving acceptance to everyone – irrespective of their culture, religion, sexual orientation or nationality.
Sixth Sunday of EasterChosen by God
Scripture reading taken from A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other Servants p.173