Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11
This week we are drawn deeply into biblical texts that call us to radical compassion. A radical "com" "passio" which means, "suffering with." We are called to suffer with the world.
Some days it can feel like there is more suffering to go around than we can comprehend, let alone enter into. But God promises us that God's love is always there. God's love is an infinite source in which to root ourselves like oak trees, and through which to transform our anguish into a robe of justice. We can learn to be present to suffering; our own, other peoples' and all that is engulfing our worlds. In doing so, always remember in community that we are indeed bound into each other; we are not alone.
Spirit of God, draw us so deeply into your love that we lose our fear of each other. Nourish the seeds of your justice in our midst, and ignite our compassion for all of your creation. Amen.
Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11 (NRSV)
1 The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, 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;
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn;
3 to 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 his glory.
4 They shall build up the ancient ruins, they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations...
8 For I the Lord love justice, I hate robbery and wrongdoing; I will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.
9 Their 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 Lord has blessed.
10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he 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.
11 For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.