Saturday after the First Sunday after Christmas
Scripture: Isaiah 61:1-11 (NKJV)
1 “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, because the LORD has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, 3 to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”
4 And they shall rebuild the old ruins, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations. 5 Strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the foreigner shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers. 6 But you shall be named the priests of the LORD, they shall call you the servants of our God. You shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory you shall boast. 7 Instead of your shame you shall have double honor, and instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land they shall possess double; Everlasting joy shall be theirs.
8 “For I, the LORD, love justice; I hate robbery for burnt offering; I will direct their work in truth, and will make with them an everlasting covenant. 9 Their descendants shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people. All who see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the posterity whom the LORD has blessed.”
10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful 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 with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. 11 For as the earth brings forth its bud, as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, because the LORD has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.”
Our Lord Jesus proclaims in the Gospel of Luke that these things are fulfilled in Him. As He became flesh and blood at Christmas and died and rose again for us at Easter, these things are accomplished for all mankind! The good tidings are the message of abundant life that comes to us through faith in Jesus Christ. Our broken hearts are healed by His mercy as we are made to know that God Himself loves us and values us more than any other person ever could. We are made free in Him as we are taken from bondage to sin and the devil and given the light yoke of His righteousness. The chains of our sins are loosed and we are given a home in the Kingdom of Heaven on account of Christ.
Without Christ we are still poor, no matter how much material wealth we have. And our life is a prison without His righteousness. All the brokenheartedness in the world is because of sin. But thanks be to God that He makes His righteousness known in Christ and all that He teaches us, so that we may be blessed and freed to know the greater joy that comes to us from the power of His Word and Spirit!
We pray: Lord God, deliver us from evil and heal our souls, according to Your profound mercy in Christ Jesus. Amen.