Promised Gifts

December 13, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Today's Old Testament passage for the third Sunday of Advent, Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11, proclaims an over-turning of the world order. A great change occurs in the situation from verse 1 (the oppressed, the broken-hearted, the captives, the prisoners) to verse 9 ("they are a people whom God has blessed"). What brings about this reversal? Apparently, it is God's desire for justice: "I hate robbery and wrongdoing." Many of us will quickly move past this passage because we want to hurry to get to the good feelings of Christmas.

But this prophetic word is radically unsettling for the comfortable and the well-connected. Given our political, economic, and social issues these past several weeks, we may want to pause and ponder what injustice looks like in these days, and to whom God promises good news, and liberty, and release, and healing, and blessing.

These carving tools were photographed in the lepers colony in Ganta, Liberia.


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