I am intimidated and inspired by Isaiah 61. Jesus claimed these words were about Him, the passage describes His ministry. I am intimidated and inspired by these words because these words so accurately reflect what God is calling me to do. It’s a bit arrogant to think that I am claiming my mission to be so closely linked to Jesus’ mission (my wife has accused me of having a “messiah complex”… she’s wrong). It makes me feel a bit better by wording it this way: I am being called to an “incarnational ministry”… to be the hands, feet and voice of Jesus. Still a bit intimidating, but also a bit cool, a bit inspiring.
There are a number of words and phrases in Isaiah 61 that catch my attention. Verse one says, “the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor”. The specific place God is calling me to, Original Aurora, has one of the highest rates of poverty in the Denver area. In my new neighborhood, there are scores of people struggling to put food on the table, that battle month to month to keep any kind of housing. Many cry themselves to sleep at night realizing the hopelessness of their lives and the cycle of poverty that is strangling their kids. What an incredibly awesome privilege to be called by God to proclaim good news to these people who so desperately need to hear some good news. And even better is that not only is there a God who cares about their day to day material needs, but that our God cares about their eternal and spiritual needs, as well. The good news is that God is preparing mansions, while giving peace, hope and forgiveness right now. Our God is eager to put the broken pieces of these people’s lives together into something amazingly beautiful (but I am getting ahead of myself – that’s verse three).
Along with Jesus, I sense a clear and strong sense that “the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor”. Wow.