Isaiah reminds us poignantly that the "tidings of comfort and joy" proclaimed by the angels to the shepherds includes the promise of physical and spiritual liberation. This promise of freedom extends to all people: the poor, the brokenhearted, the captive prisoner, and the mourner.
Can we possibly imagine and join with Jesus in the liberation of our own hearts and those of our families, our neighborhoods, our cities?
Come, Lord Jesus. Come. Revive us again.
Isaiah 61:1-4. 8-9NLT
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me,
for the LORD has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted
and to proclaim that captives will be released
and prisoners will be freed.
2 He has sent me to tell those who mourn
that the time of the LORD’s favor has come,
and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.
3 To all who mourn in Israel,
he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
that the LORD has planted for his own glory.
4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins,
repairing cities destroyed long ago.
They will revive them,
though they have been deserted for many generations.
8 “For I, the LORD, love justice.
I hate robbery and wrongdoing.
I will faithfully reward my people for their suffering
and make an everlasting covenant with them.
9 Their descendants will be recognized
and honored among the nations.
Everyone will realize that they are a people
the LORD has blessed.”
For Prayer and Reflection:
What phrase or word shimmered as you listened to or read the text? Bring it into prayer with Jesus.
Reflect on your experience of liberation described in the text. Is there something you want to say to Jesus? Journal your conversation.
What rebuilding projects have you seen God do in your life or would like to see?