Brothers and Sisters in Christ, hear these words concerning the prophecy of the Messiah, Christ our Lord, from the Prophet Isaiah:
“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; to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to provide for those who mourn in Zion– to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit. They will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, to display his glory. They shall build up the ancient ruins, they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations. Strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, foreigners shall till your land and dress your vines; but you shall be called priests of the LORD, you shall be named ministers of our God; you shall enjoy the wealth of the nations, and in their riches you shall glory. Because their shame was double, and dishonor was proclaimed as their lot, therefore they shall possess a double portion; everlasting joy shall be theirs. For I the LORD love justice, I hate robbery and wrongdoing; I will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. Their descendants shall be known among the nations, and their offspring among the peoples; all who see them shall acknowledge that they are a people whom the LORD has blessed” (Isaiah 61:1-9 NRS).
Lord, hear our prayer:
Spoken first by your prophet,
The words fulfilled by our Savior are the divine proclamation about the purpose of salvation.
Those that struggle and suffer find the promise of blessing.
We are welcomed into your Kingdom to come.
Now we work, but the hope of heavenly reward is sure.
Our deeds build upon the cornerstone of Christ.
Our words herald the truth of the New Covenant in Jesus’ blood.
So too shall our love seal our lives:
Our love for you, for one another, and for your holy Word.
What you began in us, bring to fruition,
And we shall be living proclamations of your unbridled grace.
For your honor and glory, we live and pray.