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The "suffering servant" passage is often quoted in a Christian context as passage foretelling the coming of the Messiah. This workshop approaches the passage in its own context and on its own terms, not from the meaning later assigned to it by Christian theologians. If you are familiar with this passage, recall your first encounter with it. What meaning was ascribed to it? How did it make you feel?

Find the experiences of "exile" and "restoration" in your own life, or in the literature, film, or music of popular culture. After you have explored the emotional territory of exile and restoration, read the passage from Isaiah (the story in this workshop) aloud, paying attention to the emotions and images it evokes in you.

Reflect on how you responded (or might have responded) to this passage as an eight-year-old child, a fourteen-year-old youth, or a young adult making your way in the world. Envision the way you will think about this passage when you are an elder, looking back on your life.

Bring each person in your group into your mind and hold them in appreciative thought and/or prayer.

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