Scripture of the Week – Isaiah 61:1-4
As a trial, we are going to have a Scripture of the week. This will be in the newsletter each Friday. This will be the Scripture that the Sunday sermon will be based around.
We are inviting everyone in CCE to spend some time during the week, reflecting on the Scripture for the week. We suggest coming back to the scripture over a number of days, to read, reflect, pray, memorise and meditate on. Questions you might like to consider are:
What strikes you? What did it mean to the original hearers? What is the Lord saying to you through this Scripture? What do you need to do or change in light of this Scripture?
Do leave a comment of anything that comes to you during the week.
Friday 5th June:
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.
They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.
Seeing the “rebuild ancient ruins and restore the places” is great to include as we often forget that all of the spiritual anointing mentioned above is for something.
I am struck by the different manifestation of the good news – to the captive it looks like freedom, to the mourner it looks like comfort etc. Often we think of the Gospel as a statement or doctrine, but here (and elsewhere) we see God meeting peoples’ deepest needs and bringing them “personalised” good news. Recently I have been reflecting on the power of the Gospel for our ongoing transformation and pondering the questions, “Where is bad news at work in my life?” and “What good news does Jesus want to bring?”
I love this scripture: The spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me and on you also! Of all scriptures this is one of the most personal declarations of fellowship with God – Jesus quotes it at the beginning of the good news. Yet, while I am called to bring good news, I am also one comforted by the good news brought to me by others, an oak of righteousness because of your (anyone who brings good news) willingness to be God’s voice to me.
I love the beautiful nature of Jesus – I feel these verses describe the kindness, comfort and love Jesus offers in His nature and in His plan. Especially for those who are in ‘darker’ places or suffering. I have experienced Jesus providing this comfort, freedom and joy in my own life and also love that He allows us to share in this anointing as the hands and feet of His body and vessels of His Spirit.
I am reminded of the phrase I have heard recently though can’t remember exact words… something along the lines of ‘if it isn’t looking good, it’s not the end’ We are able to experience so much of this beautiful scripture in our lives and seeing Jesus work his plan in the lives of those around us. Yet one day all of these verses will be completely realised in His return where His kingdom comes in complete fullness. The freedom, the comfort and the joy of Jesus. Holy and anointed one. Praise Jesus!
Thanks so much everyone for your comments. Great to see how you are interacting with the Scripture.
For me, I have been struck afresh that this is good news, very similar to Naomi’s comment. Jesus is good news. Who wouldn’t want all the things that are promised in this passage?
So why don’t I always think it is good news? And how can I communicate that this is good news to others? And how can have a story (testimony) of these things in my life that I can share with others?