"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 brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners" (Isaiah 61:1)
The Israelites waited for their promised Messiah for centuries. Can you imagine what that must have been like? To keep thinking that the Messiah was surely coming now, that these signs surely pointed to their salvation, that God was surely about to keep God’s promises … only to be let down again and again and again. How in the world did the Israelites hold on to their faith?
Waiting is so hard. Every Christmas season is a challenge, but it is usually because children are excited and we have so much to do and there is a buzz in the air. This year is different, though, isn’t it? This year we wait for a cure. We hope for time together with family that we have missed for nine long months. We hope that we will not become sick, or that those we love will survive. We wait and wish and hope, but God seems distant.
Now, it has been our turn to be the brokenhearted, the bound, the captives. Not for centuries, but for months. Fear makes time seem to stand still, and this has been a frightening period for us. But like the Israelites, we know that God is holding us during these challenges. We know that God is close to those who are sick and in mourning and fearful. We don’t understand why some of these challenges happen, but we trust in a God who has held God’s people for centuries.
We wait for a while longer. But while we wait, we trust in the God that has been promised.
God, you have held your people for thousands of years. You have bound the brokenhearted, freed the captives, and released the prisoners. Help us to trust that you hold us during this time as well. Help us to hear your good news as we wait. Amen.
To the Writers
of this devotional: