The people were finally home.
After generations in exile,
they returned to their ancestral land.
The joy that was anticipated was real,
but it was also different to return home.
Though they yearned for the way it was,
the future is a place of transformation.
It was as if they’d never really been in this land.
And, of course, most had not.
They’d been born in bondage and exile.
Into this time and place of transformation,
of a fresh start, a new path, Isaiah speaks:
I bring good news to the poor,
to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim release for captives,
and liberation for prisoners (Isaiah 61:1 CEB)
Isaiah proclaims the year of God’s favor,
a time of jubilee!
Isaiah outlines God’s vision of joy
for all of God’s people.
In this time of Jubilee,
grace and forgiveness will abound.
The people will be re-formed, re-created,
and re-vitalized for a new world.
The time is coming when this season of
pandemic will end for us, too.
As we emerge from the exile of COVID-19,
we will find that the prophet offers us Good News, too.
Let us rejoice! Let us worship!
The LORD’s spirit is upon us!
The year of jubilation is even now
being created within us! Amen.