Prepare yourself to discern what is and what is not of God today. Still yourself so you can hear how God is calling you.
Isaiah 61:1-7 (NRSV)
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;
to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
to 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.
They shall build up the ancient ruins,
they shall raise up the former devastations;
they shall repair the ruined cities,
the devastations of many generations.
Strangers shall stand and feed your flocks,
foreigners shall till your land and dress your vines;
but you shall be called priests of the LORD,
you shall be named ministers of our God;
you shall enjoy the wealth of the nations,
and in their riches you shall glory.
Because their shame was double,
and dishonor was proclaimed as their lot,
therefore they shall possess a double portion;
everlasting joy shall be theirs.
Have you ever felt delivered? It is a most wonderful feeling. One such situation for me was achieving a C in College Algebra. It’s not accurate for me to say Algebra was like Greek to me, because I really enjoyed Greek! Dr. Waddle’s New Testament Greek class was not nearly the challenge I experienced in College Algebra. (Suffice it to say, math is not my strong suit!) I definitely felt delivered from that class. It was over. I never had to do that again.
Though it felt like it at the time, struggling through a college algebra class was not the biggest challenge I would face. It in no way compares to the challenges and real life captivity of health issues (both physical and mental), political imprisonment, terrorism, human trafficking, poverty, the cycle of poverty, homelessness, unfair labor practices, abuse, addictions, oppression (and the list goes on) that so many face. Thank God that Jesus came to set the captives free! The recent Christmas season reminded us that the precious baby born all those years ago was born to be the King of Kings who can and will set us free! The approaching Easter season reminds us that we are free by God’s grace. Thanks be to God!
Almighty God, we are so grateful for the gift of life, and the gift of eternal life with you. We lift up those who are still captive and need your help and grace. Help us to be vessels of grace and mercy to them. Amen.
Go with God.