Advent Begins

by on December 1, 2013

Isaiah 61:1-3(NIV)
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 he 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. 
This passage struck me today in more ways than one.
Principally this passage is speaking of Christ and his mission on earth and that he will return someday(his 2nd coming) to judge the world.  But what struck me is how Jesus speaks the first part of this passage in Luke 4:17 as he begins his ministry and proclaims to the crowd in the synagogue that “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”(Luke 4:21)
How wonderful to know God anointed Christ to proclaim the good news to the lost and brokenhearted, to show us the path to true freedom and life. But even more, I am so amazed every time I read my Bible at how much God loves us, that he would send down his Son to live among us, to save us, to save me personally from my sins, so that I could enjoy a life filled with hope, love and joy. A life eternally with my Savior.
This passage also speaks of healing.  I believe God is not speaking primarily to physical healing, although he does do that, but I believe he is speaking of spiritual healing.  That part of all of us that is trying to “find” peace in our inner souls.
You know, over these past few years I have personally experienced God’s healing of my broken heart.  My Mom passed away in 2010 from Progressive Supranuclear Palsy and it has been a struggle to find joy in my day to day life without her.  God has tenderly walked alongside me during the grieving process, comforting me when I needed, showing me verses in scripture on how He is always present with me. He has patiently shown me his deep love for me through my husband, my children and my friends. He has shown me evidences of himself through nature and in the eyes of those I serve. He is so personal, pushing me along when needed and lighting my path as I search for new ways to serve him in this new chapter of my life.  A new chapter, a rebirth of sorts. How grateful I am to him.
Today I can honestly say he has replaced my spirit of despair with joy.  A joy that is new found, deep, and brings a daily smile to my face.  This joy I hope, is reflected in the way I praise Him each and every day.
This passage had me pondering how it applies to me personally as a Christ follower not just this advent season, but in my every day life. I believe this passage points to a plan of action.  Because I am a Christ follower, I have the Holy Spirit within me, anointing me to preach the good news to the poor and brokenhearted. Proclaiming that true freedom is found in Christ Jesus and that His grace and mercy is available to all who believe and call on his holy name.
I pray I speak boldly of His love this Christmas season!

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