Readings: Psalm 126 and Isaiah 61: 1-4 and 8-11
Key verses: “Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy”. (Psalm 126:5) and “The Spirit of the Lord is on me… to preach… bind up… release… proclaim…” (Isaiah 61:1)
In our Advent study this week we are looking at humility – at having the mind of Christ spoken of in Philippians 2. One of the men in our Tuesday morning study said humility is thinking less of yourself so that you could think more of others. Humility is an active practice. These profound thoughts fit well with the humble servant hood that Jesus modeled and calls us to follow. Our world is certainly in need of more humble servants.
Both the bigger world out there and many people’s lives are filled with hardship and suffering and trials. There is plenty of oppression and abuse of power, lots of violence and other senseless actions, many struggling with addictions and unhealthy relationships, and a host of other issues. Individuals we know face some of these issues as do whole groups in our communities. There are lots of people in lots of places who would love to live into this verse: “Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy”.
As humble servants of Jesus Christ, we are called to help those in need to do just that. It is what Jesus did and what He calls us to do. For all who follow Jesus, we live into the words of Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me…” When we read on, we find the “why” – to preach the good news to the poor, to heal the broken, to bring freedom to the captives, to release prisoners from all that binds them, and to proclaim God’s blessings on all. These are big words and big ideas. But guess what? We serve a big God. We serve a God who wants to work in and through us – just like He did with Jesus – to see all these things to come to be.
Sometimes we don’t see God big enough. Sometimes we fail to dream and other times we fail to trust. Sometimes we doubt. Into all of this God speaks through the apostle Paul: “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). May we serve a big God, trusting that all things are possible when we call on the One who can do all things. Amen and amen.