Scripture: Isaiah 61:1-4
Key verse: (1) 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 broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners.
Reflection: This is great news! Good news to the oppressed. Binding up the brokenhearted. Liberty for captives. Prisoners set free. Wait a minute. Whoa Nellie! If the oppressed hear good news, won’t they march for justice? If the brokenhearted are pieced back together, won’t they demand equality? If the captives and the imprisoned are set free, how will they integrate into our society? This news may seem great but it’s pretty scary for the status quo. This great news rocks the boat and shifts all of the world’s dynamics.
That’s exactly what Isaiah was hoping for. The prophet was casting a vision of hope for the downtrodden and the persecuted people around him. When he wrote “The spirit of the Lord God is upon me,” who was he talking about? Himself? Another person that God would use to work in the world? A future savior? Maybe all of these. Maybe in these verses the prophet is telling us God’s agenda for future community and God will use various people to carry out this agenda in the world.
According to the gospel of Luke, Jesus entered the synagogue in Nazareth and was given the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. When he unrolled the scroll, he read the portion in today’s key verse. When he finished reading, he rolled up the scroll and said “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” At first the crowd was amazed and praised his eloquence but then, as they realized the implications of what he said, they filled with rage.
May we hear the good news of God today, upsetting the status quo and rocking the world, as good news for all of us. May we let go of the way things are so that we can welcome God’s way into our lives. May we discover abundant life in the kingdom of God.
Prayer: Almighty God, anoint me with your spirit so that I may do your work in the world. Give me courage to proclaim good news to those who need to hear it. Give me mercy to care for the brokenhearted. Give me a hunger for justice to set others free. Shake up my world so that I can live in your way. Through Christ I pray. Amen.
Author: Millie Snyder
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].