“I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 49:6).
When I hear the word “salvation,” my first thought is of a kind of personal benefit, something that I or another person can claim and enjoy. But this passage from Isaiah suggests that God has another, larger view in which salvation is God’s goal for all of creation. We may be privileged to play a part in that unfolding drama, if God so wills. Strong convictions about our own salvation or about the Savior himself, then, are not meant to leave us self-satisfied. A certain peace and joy naturally accompanies faith, but if God yearns for the salvation of the whole world, ought we not do the same? And if we do, what will that mean for our lives? One thing it means, I think, is prayer for the salvation of other people, from those in our families to those in the far-flung places whose lives are unknown to us. May we also pray that in some mysterious way, our salvation might be linked to theirs.