The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, for the LORD has anointed 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.
I read and reflect on these words from Isaiah 61:1 tonight. I’m thinking about restoration and reconciliation. I’m weighing the magnificence of what it means to partner with God and do the work of loving others well. He gives is so many opportunities. He invites us to love without condition, and maybe that will defy our finite, human logic. Will we choose love in the face of adversity? Will we lessen the light burning in our hearts because we fear being outcasts? Humph!!! Love is worth the fight. It really is!!!
Perhaps that is what it means to live and love like Jesus – to reach in where no one else wants to go, to stand for truth in love where others would rather turn and walk away, to sit with the broken as their jagged edges polish and gently provoke the love of Christ in us, and to be beautifully broken and mended again as we throw off the old man and put on Christ. Maybe, just maybe, this loving others as ourselves raises hope, raises peace, and silences the lies. I believe it build bridges and points others to hope in Christ. Maybe it tears down strongholds that insist on destruction and division. Love really does win, but the love that wins is a love that also pierces darkness to set hearts and souls free to be reconciled to God and people.
Truly God will show up as we do what He commands. Love God. Love your neighbors as yourself. Do good work. I wonder just how powerfully God will show up as we live this gospel of good news. That news is needed now more than ever. Whatever is keeping you and I from living and loving from the center of God must bow in defeat. We must rise above it, and operate in the spirit of Christ. People will believe what they see and not just what they hear. The world is closely watching. Your neighbor is watching. Your family is watching. Your friends and coworkers are watching. The people who matter to us all are watching and waiting. May the stories we live ring true and authentic to the purpose of God. May they speak of an irresistible reconciliation.
I’m praying it begin in me. I’m praying the love of God compel me to live His goodness everywhere I go. I’m praying I be fearless in this work. I pray the same for you. I stand for mending. Through Christ, I can do good work. You can do good work too. Let’s not be afraid to do it. Good news is birthing through you.
He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the LORD’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory.
Stand for mending. Stand for truth. Stand for hope and reconciliation. Start where you are. We can change this world one person and one relationship at a time. We are just beginning, so let’s not grow weary in doing good. God is with us.
I’d love to hear how you’re affirming grace and reconciliation. Share in the comments and follow the tag #affirmingfridays.