The Weekly Word - A Devotion for the Week of October 5
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has appointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. (Isaiah 61:1)
It’s easy to read these verses and assume they don’t apply to us. After all, we might reason, the prophet Isaiah was referring to himself when he declared that God had appointed him to bring good news to the poor, to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners freed.
But here’s the heard truth of these words: the “Spirit of the Sovereign Lord” isn’t upon Isaiah alone. The Lord’s Spirit is upon Jesus and upon each one of us as well.
Jesus repeats Isaiah’s words in the Gospel of Luke, referring to Himself:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19)
Then, in the Gospel of John, Jesus turns from Himself to bestow His mission upon us:
“As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.” (John 17:18)
We are called to share the love of Christ – “the good news” – with the poor. We are called to comfort the grieving and those who have lost hope. We are called to proclaim freedom for all and to work toward ensuring that all are offered equal opportunity.
This is a high calling indeed. And yet, it’s also a calling that can be lived out in the small, ordinary spaces of our own individual lives. Look around. Each of us knows people in our own circles and in our own communities who are hurting, grieving, oppressed and in pain. Each of us knows someone in need of comfort and support. God has anointed us as His hands, feet and heart in this world. We are called to minister to those in need.
Loving God, open my eyes so that I may see the brokenhearted in my midst. Open my ears so that I may hear the cries of those who need my voice to advocate and my hands to help. Open my heart to the pain of my neighbors and help me answer Your call to love. Amen.