December 6, 2011

Dec. 6: Bringing good news

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By Rebecca Hernandez, director of the Center for Intercultural Teaching and Learning
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 61: 1-4, 8-11 (NRSV)
Scroll down for complete Scripture.

DEVOTIONAL:
I look back on that perfect day in early fall, sunny and cool, flowers fading but still glorious, and I was in “the groove.” You know those days, where things come together and you know you are exactly where you’re supposed to be and doing what you’ve been made for. Things are good, I’m in sync in with people around me and the check offs on the “to do” list are flying as we build a vision together. It was the simplicity of that day that I so appreciated. I looked up as I walked across campus and thought “thank you God for this moment.” Because this moment was perfect and I know from experience that it would only last a moment. I realized this magnificent day was God’s gift to me and my acknowledgment of this day was my gift to God. We were in tune and it was good.

Not all days are like that. In fact, they are fewer than I would hope for. Today I shiver from the cold wind and see the pile of work still to be done and know that long days are ahead. But I also know spring will come and so will joy. So I hold fast to the memories of wonderful moments where I’m in the groove and I am in sync with God and know that these days strung together across a lifetime make for beautiful memories and a life well lived.

The words of Isaiah, “The spirit of the Lord God is upon me…he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,” sound like good news indeed!

Today, take some time out to find respite in the Word. Come back to the simplicity of his promises to comfort, to provide liberty and gladness, and rejoice!

SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 61: 1-4, 8-11 (NRSV)

1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach 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, 2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion– to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. 4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.

8 “For I, the LORD, love justice; I hate robbery and iniquity. In my faithfulness I will reward them and make an everlasting covenant with them. 9 Their descendants will be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the LORD has blessed.” 10 I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. 11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.

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Comments (11)

  1. a breath of fresh air here!! Thank you!!

    Barbara Johnson December 6, 2011 |
  2. Thank you Rebecca. This resonated with me. I took your advice at the end.

    Doug Schirch December 6, 2011 |
  3. How sweet those in-sync moments. I like how you put it– “these days strung together across a lifetime make for beautiful memories and a life well lived”. Our God is faithful.

    Ruth December 6, 2011 |
  4. How true, dear Rebecca. Those moments are like golden threads that tie the broken pieces of our life together and help us offer them in Christ to God.
    Despite your heap of work you could send us this beautiful thought.
    Mervyn Carapiet

    Mervyn Carapiet December 6, 2011 |
  5. Thank you, Rebecca, for reminding me to ‘catch the moment’ in my days where divine encounters happen in unexpected ways.

    Jim Brenneman, GC President December 6, 2011 |
  6. Thank you Rebecca,
    I know those “in sinc” days as well as those “straw against the chill” days, to quote a Bob Franke song. It spoke mightily to my condition.

    John Hackman December 6, 2011 |
  7. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on a busy day. I have printed them and will use them when the ‘climate’ around me needs improving.

    Mary K. Mishler December 6, 2011 |
  8. Thanks Rebecca! So inspiring!

    Vicky Kirkton December 6, 2011 |
  9. thank you for sharing your faith in God with me.
    blessings and peace to you
    sandi

    sandi December 6, 2011 |
  10. Thanks, Rebecca. Moments like the one you describe (I sometimes call them moments of grace) replenish that reservoir of love and grace that help sustain us over the long haul!

    Lisa Guedea Carreno December 7, 2011 |
  11. Very nice reflection. Thank you.

    Sr. Karen Flaherty December 11, 2011 |