So, yesterday i didn’t post, I’m a failure by my own criteria! Actually, I’m now able to look at things like that and no longer beat myself up for them- I know that yesterday was a pretty full on day of work stuff, where i didn’t sit down at the desk until halfway through the afternoon, and then my PC decided to have a go-slow day… stuff was done, just nothing that required a computer- you don’t need a computer to pray with people, or conduct a funeral and spend time with those who are mourning, or to visit a friend, or so many other things. Serving God and people doesn’t require broadband… so although I did read and think about the passage- Isaiah 52 (the suffering servant), there was no evidence of it here.
Onto today- I’m looking at one of my favourite passages from Isaiah- chapter 61. Its one that Jesus quotes at the start of his ministry in Luke’s Gospel (I often describe it as his mission statement). Its so good I’m going to put it here:
‘The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners’
and so on it goes… there’s another bit later which i also really like that describes how there will be a mix of nations working the land and living together in harmony.
The whole thing is about a hoped for future where unjust structures and systems have no more power, where hunger and poverty are eradicated (anyone remember the millenium goals, or the ‘IF’ campaign?). A dream is all well and good- its important to have hopes, but the challenging thing is that when Jesus spoke these words, he then said words to the effect ‘and it starts now’- the beginning of the end of injustice and oppression started with his ministry, was continued on a different scale with his death and resurrection, and is working out through the lives of those who follow the Christian faith today. Or at least, thats how its meant to look… the challenge for each of us is to recognise our own complicity in oppressive systems and to live in ways that bring freedom to others instead. Amen?