Isaiah 9:1-4 ~ Week of 1/21-1/27
1 But there will be no gloom for those who were in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he will make glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations. 2 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness— on them light has shined. 3 You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as people exult when dividing plunder. 4 For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian. (NRSV)
Zebulun & Naphtali: the region of Gallilee, named for two of the tribes of Jacob – the outskirts north of Jerusalem – considered ‘country, hick, etc’ by the city people of Jerusalem.
19 And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.
1 Peter 2:4-12
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, F10 in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
What freedoms were the people of Israel & Judah needing from God?
How did Jesus live out this ‘ministry of freedom’
Where in your own life do you need to be free?
How can you carry this freedom toward others? Where in your life have you done the opposite, binding and shackling others rather than setting them free?
Gracious God, we give you thanks for the freedom we find in Christ. Forgive us when we misuse that freedom, rejecting it in favor of slavery to thoughts, habits, relationships and things. Set us free again, that we might in our freedom glorify you and offer your freedom to others.
Week of 1/28-2/3: Ex 24:12-18; Mt. 17:1-9