Worship with Us This Sunday - 10:15 a.m.
Tell Stories that Give Light
Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11
1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
3to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified.
4 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.
8 For I the LORD love justice;
I hate robbery and wrong;[a]
I will faithfully give them their recompense,
and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.
9Their offspring shall be known among the nations,
and their descendants in the midst of the peoples;
all who see them shall acknowledge them,
that they are an offspring the LORD has blessed.
10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD;
my soul shall exult in my God,
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation;
he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11For as the earth brings forth its sprouts,
and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up,
so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise
to sprout up before all the nations.
As I read through this passage a couple of times, I kept coming back to the first three verses. With the anointing of “the Spirit of the Sovereign LORD”, Isaiah was called to preach good news, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from the darkness, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance, to comfort all who morn, to provide for those who grieve, and to bestow on them a crown of beauty. And we think we have a lot on our plates!
As I thought about these verses, the part where Isaiah proclaims “release from the darkness” reminded me of a children’s book I read recently. The Tale of Despereaux is a charming story by Kate DiCamillo that begins with the words, “The world is dark, and light is precious”. In a later scene one of the characters says, “Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark. Begin at the beginning. Tell . . . a story. Make some light.”
During the Christmas season we have the opportunity to go back to the beginning and make some light by sharing with people the story of our Savior. The story of a baby born in a stable 2,000 years ago whose life and light continues to release people from darkness today. Let’s not let the hustle and bustle of the holiday season keep us from sharing this story every chance we get. It is the light this world desperately needs.