Sunday, December 10, 2017

advent 3 year b - isaiah

Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11
The spirit of the Sovereign God is upon me,
     because the Sovereign has anointed me;
          God 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
               2to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
               and the day of vengeance of our God;
               to comfort all who mourn; 
                    3to 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 God’s glory.

4They shall build up the ancient ruins,
     they shall raise up the former devastations;
          they shall repair the ruined cities,
               the devastations of many generations.

8For I the Sovereign love justice,
     I hate robbery and wrongdoing;
     I will faithfully give them their recompense,
          and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.
               9Their 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 Sovereign has blessed.

10I will greatly rejoice in the Sovereign,
     my whole being shall exult in my God;
          for God has clothed me with the garments of salvation,
               God has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
                    as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland,
                    and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. 
          11For as the earth brings forth its shoots,
          and as a garden causes what is sown in 
               it to spring up,
               so the Sovereign God will cause 
                    righteousness and praise to spring up 
                         before all the nations.

Queeries for the text:
What does the Spirit of God feel like?
How do you bind up the brokenhearted?
If we proclaim liberty to the captives, will it actually happen?
Is God's vengeance really just the consequences of our own actions, or is there worse to come?
Is a garland of ashes just what's left when we're done celebrating Christmas?
Does being covered with the garments of salvation and the robe of righteousness mean that I am both bridegroom and bride?
How do I know when the Sovereign has blessed some one or some group?
What are the garments of salvation made of?
Can I find all these clothes at Goodwill?

What are your queeries?

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