because the Lord has anointed me;
he 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;
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
to provide for those who mourn in Zion -
to give them a garland instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the mantel of praise instead of a faint spirit.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, to display his glory.
I get a large sense of hope when I read these words Isaiah, along with a sense of responsibility to share that heritage of hope with all. I'm especially bound to minister to those who mourn, for they need this message of hope in their current despair.
I believe that we are all called to this ministry of sharing hope, and as we minister to others we will indeed be saving our own selves from the captivity and prison of sadness and despair.
I love the idea of becoming oaks of the Lord's righteousness, complete with our garlands and mantles of praise. What a vivid and powerful description of what we can become.
We can become beacons of hope when we embody the strength that is given to us through our faith in the Lord. Certainly I have felt the power of this ministry of hope, through the community, as I have experienced my own mourning. It has been lifesaving, and taught me the importance of others bringing me the message of hope as I move through the challenges that life throws before me.
Let us all move through this Lent with a mission of expansiveness; believing that there is enough love and hope for us to share, and as we share, we save ourselves.