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SCRIPTURE: Is. 60-62; John 1

1-7 The Spirit of God, the Master, is on me because God anointed me.
He sent me to preach good news to the poor, 
   heal the heartbroken,
Announce freedom to all captives, 
   pardon all prisoners.
God sent me to announce the year of his grace— 
a celebration of God’s destruction of our enemies—
and to comfort all who mourn,
To care for the needs of all who mourn in Zion,
give them bouquets of roses instead of ashes,
Messages of joy instead of news of doom,
a praising heart instead of a languid spirit.
Rename them “Oaks of Righteousness”
planted by God to display his glory.
They’ll rebuild the old ruins,
raise a new city out of the wreckage.
They’ll start over on the ruined cities,
take the rubble left behind and make it new.
You’ll hire outsiders to herd your flocks
and foreigners to work your fields,
But you’ll have the title “Priests of God,”
honored as ministers of our God.
You’ll feast on the bounty of nations,
you’ll bask in their glory.
Because you got a double dose of trouble
and more than your share of contempt,
Your inheritance in the land will be doubled
and your joy go on forever.

OBSERVATIONS: This is the passage Jesus read in the synagogue to a people living in bondage and subjugation with little hope of transformation or help arriving.

APPLICATION: Joey, you ain’t Jesus. But you do work for him. And it is your job to help rebuild the ruined lives by introducing them to the master builder. Offer healing to the heartbroken, and announce the good news. This you can do. Do it well, okay?

PRAYER: Thank you, God, for including me in your plans of grace. I am humbled to be a part of the movement of your Spirit and I’m terrified of screwing things up. But with you in the lead, and my head turned ’round right, I think I have a good chance of being faithful, if not successful. I pray for the sake of Christ. Amen.

Author: Joey Reed

Joey is married to his best friend and they live in Kentucky. Joey serves Mayfield First United Methodist Church, the Purchase District, the Memphis Annual Conference, and the world is his parish.