Jubilation will come.

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.

Tim strives to share God’s extravagant love for all–no matter what & without strings. Seeking to follow the lure of the Spirit, Tim writes about what it means to be a follower of Jesus in an era where Christianity has come to be associated with hatred and political wedge issues. “Heinous things have been said & done (& still are) in the name of the One who breathed in the Divine,” notes Tim, “but Jesus shows us that God loves extravagantly.” Following the teachings and life of Jesus is about inclusion not exclusion. It is about compassion, grace, and admitting no one has all the answers. It is about responding lovingly to the best of our human ability. It is about people not institutions. It is about social justice. It is about caring for creation. It is about being who we were each created to be. Tim is a former early childhood educator, a runner, a hiker, a devoted husband, father of two adult children and their spouses, and a grandfather of four perfect grandchildren. Tim serves as Senior Pastor of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Albany, Oregon. He writes from home, from the coffee shop, and wherever the trail leads him.

Posted in Call to Worship, Isaiah, Isaiah 61, Isaiah 61:1-11, Old Testament

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Creative Commons License BY-NC-ND 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/us/

All materials by Tim Graves unless otherwise noted. Creative Commons License BY-NC-ND 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/us/

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