The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; 2to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; 3to provide for those who mourn in Zion— to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit. They will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, to display his glory. -Isaiah 61:1-3
The Lord has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners. This and the rest of Isaiah 61:1-3 provide a stunningly beautiful image of what it means for the Spirit of God to descend upon us. And yet, it is also a real challenge to how we live and how we relate to others, does it not? It almost seems like too much, at least in terms of what one person could accomplish and certainly more than what spare change given to the Salvation Army Bell Ringers might accomplish.
Then again, when a group of Christians, seeking to follow the sacrificial love of Christ gather together with a purpose, such visions as Isaiah sets forth above, have real possibility of getting done. Just last evening I was privileged enough to sit in on one such gathering. The Deacons of our church, with the abundant generosity of our congregation were planning their annual "Christmas Basket" drive. What at one point may have been a basket given to those who need assistance has turned into an annual event of 50 to 60 pounds worth of good tidings going to people across the Magic Valley. What our congregation, through it's faithful Deacons are able to accomplish each year is very much part of Isaiah's vision of what it means to be caught up in the Good News of God's favor.
Abundantly Loving God, you present us with grand visions and we feel so small. Help us to work together and, as your early church did, to pool the resources only you have given to us so that others may come to grasp to power of your love at work in their lives. This we ask, and more, in Jesus' Name. Amen.
Companions on the Inner Way: Final Thoughts
11 months ago