Sitting in Zac's listening to those words of Isaiah, I find they take on a whole new power and reality.
As I look around I see examples of bruised reeds everywhere, from the obvious - the young girl, paralytic, collapsing off her chair - to the more subtle - those excluded or damaged by society or church.
There's not one of us there who hasn't at some time in his life struggled, suffered, doubted, wondered, hurt. For some the battle has been and continues to be major; others have found a peace with God and themselves, but still bear the scars.
In Zac's everyone finds a place of refuge, of safety and openness.
Many times I've been in church and been asked, 'How are you?'
'Fine,' I say smiling. 'And you?'
And we both know that, chances are, at least one of us is lying, putting on a mask.
Last night, Gerry, our regular alcoholic, said, 'I don't come here for the cake or the food but I comes here every week. I don't go to church on Sunday but I come here because everyone's honest. They listen and tell the truth and I thank God.'
Gerry told us that, that morning, instead of his usual 6 litres of cider, he'd only drunk 3. He was trying to cut down. He didn't think it would last but he'd managed to cope for one day. He was proud of his achievement and we were proud of him.
Eight hundred years before the birth of Christ, Isaiah foretold the coming of the messiah, saying when he came he would 'free captives from prison and release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness'.
Today we long to see these words being fulfilled more and more.