Worship this Sunday is rooted in Isaiah 35, 1-10, where the prophet describes the coming Servant of Yahweh. It is precisely this quote that Jesus first uses to announce the exact nature of his own ministry (Luke 4.18-19). In each case Jesus describes his work as moving outside of polite and proper limits and boundaries to reunite things that have been marginalized or excluded by society: the poor, the imprisoned, the blind, the downtrodden. His ministry is not to gather the so-called good into a private country club but to reach out to those on the edge and on the bottom, those where “last” to tell them they are, in fact, first! That is almost the very job description of the Holy Spirit, and therefore of Jesus.
The more that we can put together the more that we can “forgive” and allow, the more we can include and enjoy the more we tend to be living in the Spirit. The more we need to reject, oppose, deny, exclude and eliminate, the more open we are to negative and destructive voices and to our own word instincts. As always, Jesus is our model of healing, outreach and reconciliation, the ultimate man of the spirit.”
Imagine the divisions in your own life. Imagine the divisions in the larger world. How might you pray for those divisions to recede and for the light of God’s love to illumine the world?