Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Isaiah 61:1-4

Isaiah 61:1-4
English Standard Version (ESV)

  When dignitaries come to town, they're almost always rushing to see the wealthy and powerful.  You saw this a lot in the presidential campaigns of the 32 candidates this past fall -- they swept into town to hold exclusive fundraisers that cost thousands per plate, then rushed on to other events with those in power.  Exclusivity is seen as a sign of prestige -- the gates on communities lead us to curiosity about who lives back there.  Power separates people from the crowds.
  And yet here is God, who is infinitely more powerful than anything the earth has ever witnessed, and the message is one of societal reversal -- there is good news for the poor, liberty to the captives hope to the despondent.  Where the world has disappointed, God invigorates.  Where the powerful have forgotten, God remembers, and God is rushing to comfort the mourners and heal the broken.
  There is a message here for us.  We dare not forget how badly we need God.  We are broken by our own sin, led astray through our own pride, captive to our selfish indulgences.  We are trapped in a mire, and God has come to free those willing to admit they need a Savior, willing to accept their dependence on God.  God is a Savior of all who will call upon him, no matter how lowly a station they may dwell here on earth -- none are beyond the reach or compassion of God.  He has come to heal, to love, to redeem, and all are in need of this.
  Today, let us not fool ourselves into thinking we can depend on our own strength to push forward.  Let us embrace our dependence on Christ and trust in him to repair what has been ruined and restore what has been lost.

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