“The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners;” vs. 1
From Luke’s gospel we learn that Jesus chose this verse from Isaiah as his mission statement. We can infer from his choice that his followers are sent for the same purpose: “to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners.” It seems so simple! And yet through the centuries Christians have gotten hopelessly sidetracked. We’ve devoted enormous energy and resources to supporting oppressors, heaping guilt on the brokenhearted, enslaving the weak, and imprisoning opponents. We’ve encouraged the rich and the powerful and taken care to insure that the wealthy prosper. These Advent texts are a powerful reminder of Jesus’ counter-cultural message, and as we take them to heart we give integrity to his continuing mission. How good it is that millions of his followers all around the world have rededicated themselves to serving the least and the lowly, and offering hope to those who have been broken down by the world’s ways! Through them the Spirit of the Lord God is made manifest and Christ continues to be present. Christmas is more than a time for nostalgic memories…it’s a time to celebrate the dynamic presence of our generous living Lord. His followers can and do make a difference for good!
Thought for the Day: How do I choose where to give?