1 The Lord God’s spirit is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me.
He has sent me
to bring good news to the poor,
to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim release for captives,
and liberation for prisoners,
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and a day of vindication for our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
The book of Isaiah reminds God’s people of their responsibility. In particular, Isaiah 61 reminds us of the timeless need to tend to matters of social justice. Although Isaiah prophesied long before Jesus, Jesus knew the importance of Isaiah’s teachings. And we should too, because God has sent each of us “to bring good news to the poor,” mend the brokenhearted, free the captives, and “comfort all who mourn.”
In fact, Jesus quoted from Isaiah 61 when he read aloud in the synagogue for his inaugural sermon. When he finished reading, he announced, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:21). This moment established Jesus’ mission and ministry in a broken world. With Isaiah’s words, Jesus was fulfilling the prophecy Isaiah spoke hundreds of years before his birth.
Today, our mission is to continue Christ’s legacy for the world. Perhaps the truest meaning of Isaiah’s words is found in living out Jesus’ earthly mission.
Now comes the test! Whenever the spirit of Jesus’ mission remains alive in us, his legacy lives on.
By Barbara Carlson
For Pondering & Prayer
The prophecy of Isaiah’s words was fulfilled through Jesus. Our mission is to continue as Jesus’ legacy on earth. Although we cannot always immediately see how our work is making a difference, we can through prayer and our efforts, do something. What is the social justice mission that calls you to be Jesus Christ’s hands and feet in our world? How can you discover what God needs you to do next for this mission?
Prayer: Dear Jesus, long ago you gave us a mission. That mission is your legacy. We know you have called us to live as your people who attend to the social justice needs of others. Guide us and help us to know how best to proceed. Bless us, as we bless others in your Holy Name. Amen.