Bible Reading: Isaiah 61:1-3
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 broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour 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 splendour.
For most jobs today you will have a job description. This will include things like job title and purpose, duties and responsibilities, required qualifications and experiences, and accountability. It should also be agreed between the supervisor and the employee. This also applies in the church, not just for the clergy but for anyone with a specific role, including lay ministers and children’s workers (note to self!).
As he grew up, Jesus would have read this job description for ‘The Messiah’ in Isaiah 61, and at the start of his ministry, as recorded in Luke 4:16-19, he accepted the role knowing that the Holy Spirit had anointed him and equipped him for the task.
This is quite a job description: proclaiming good news to the poor; binding up the broken hearted; freeing the captives; releasing the prisoners; announcing God's favour; comforting those who mourn and providing for those who grieve.
As you read though Jesus’ job description again, what leaps out to you in your situation today? What do you need Jesus to be for you today? Take a moment to lay those needs before him. Trust him to meet those needs; it is, after all, part of his job description.
This job description also reads like a job description for our world today; a world that needs to hear the Good News, a world that needs to be introduced to Jesus. How could you, through prayer and through your witness, help to fulfil Jesus’ job description for those that you meet as you go about your daily life?
As we slowly move out of our current grief and captivity let us look forwards in hope and faith, that the ashes of this pandemic will be exchanged for a crown of beauty, that mourning will be replaced by joy and a spirit of despair replaced by a garment of praise. That, as part of the Church of Jesus Christ, we will stand firm, as oaks of righteousness and display the splendour of the Lord.
Holy Spirit of God, may the Good News of Jesus be revealed afresh today in my life and throughout your world.
I give you all the honour