Sunday, June 25, 2006

Isaiah's Good News

This morning John M. preached again. I really enjoy John's preaching. A friend's sister says he's a little to excited but I enjoy his animation. The text this morning was Isaiah 61:1-3 which is Jesus' text for his sermon in Nazareth in Luke 4. People tried to kill Jesus for what he said. The focus was on what is the good news. In this passage the Spirit anoints the prophet to bind up the broken hearted. For a picture of the broken heartedness envisioned by Isaiah look at Psalm 137. Jesus comes to heal the brokenness of people who have been torn from the only life and dreams they ever knew and who are cast out from their homes. The Spirit anoints the prophet to release the captives. Jesus comes to those bound in a prison they don't even perceive and says, "You can be free." and releases them from their sin, no matter how ingrained. The Spirit anoints the prophet to comfort those who are mourning. Again there is the image of Psalm 137. He takes their ashes and mourning weeds and replaces them with fragrant oil and festival garments. He turns their mourning into dancing. He makes those who are rootless and wandering into mighty oaks. Our response is to receive his mercy, spend time with the one who changed us and to take on his mission by introducing others to Jesus. It was an inspiring sermon followed by communion and a good time of worship.

We also had a good time with the college guys this morning praying for each other and discussing the question, "What is your life centered on?" My life is clearly centered too much on myself rather than on Christ. It's his mind and life I claim to want, but on my terms. I don't want a cross. At worst I want a sharp scolding after which I can go back to whatever I wanted to do in the first place. I don't want any form of self denial more strenuous than not eating the bag of M&M's in my fridge after I've already had a bowl of ice cream. Denying myself and taking up a cross is way off my actual radar. I might talk about doing it, but I think about making myself happier by the easiest route possible. That's most of the time and it's something I pray he'll change. Talking with C. after church we discussed wanting God for himself and not for anything he can give. We often come wanting forgiveness so we'll not feel guilty when God wants to forgive so we can come closer to him and receive what he wants to give. "But there is forgiveness with you that you might be feared." (Psalm 130:4 NAS).

After church we went to lunch at Chili's and then Steve, Sarah, Anthony, Greg, and I played a couple of games of disc golf at Adler Park. Then we went back to Sarah's sans Greg where we watched Sixteen Blocks and ate pizza.

Verse of the day:
"The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
to grant to those who mourn in Zion--
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified" Isaiah 61:1-3 (ESV)

23 comments:

annalu alulu said...

The Spirit anoints the prophet to release the captives. Jesus comes to those bound in a prison they don't even perceive and says, "You can be free." and releases them from their sin, no matter how ingrained.

i want this to be my mantra

(for the nonce)

Jenn Hacker said...

What is "Sixteen Blocks"?

Everett said...

It's a movie about an old cop who has to transport a witness to the courthouse while people are trying to kill him. It's got Bruce Willis, looking very old and broken down, Mos Def, and David Morse.

annalu alulu said...

glad you asked, jennifer, because i was thinking that same thing. bet you're like me, though, and when he said what it was, remembered seeing previews on tv. i was thinking it was a brittish comedy, or something.

Tooz said...

Oh, my gosh, Bruce Willis is in OLD MOVIES! Old movies have Charlie Chaplin, WC Fields, and Mae West--well, maybe not all together in the same movie. I don't know what a person my age would call a Bruce Willis movie, but old isn't the adjective I'd use.

annalu alulu said...

"It's a movie about an old cop..."

I had the same thought at first, mom, and had to re-read it! I thought he said it was an old movie, at first, too! that's funny.

Jenn Hacker said...

One of my favorite movies is an old movie. And I mean REALLY old. "Broken Blossoms" starring Lillian Gish. It's a silent film.

And yes, I thought he said it was an old movie, too, until I read it again. When he said "Sixteen Blocks" I immediately thought of "Sixteen Candles" which made me think of Molly Ringwald, which made me think about how she's going to be in a tour of "Sweet Charity" in San Antonio in the next couple months, which made me think about the time I went to NYC with Ms. Moore, which made me think about my Bubby, which made me think I need to call him, which made me think about the phone, which made me look at the phone here and see the clock on it says it's almost 5:00! Whoops! Time to go!

Everett said...

Yeah the character he plays is old, and even then "old" is used in a sense relative to the other cops. The movie itself is recent, came out last year. Though you could talk about a movie with Bruce Willis as old relative to his career. For instance, Die Hard came out in 1988 and was one of his first movies and could be called old relative to Die Hard 4 which is scheduled to come out next year. It would probably be better to call such movies "early Bruce Willis" rather than "old" but you could.

Becca said...

Or you could call it "old" as in the age of this post.

I'm trying to procrastinate my work, dude. You're not helping me.

Fspymtf.

Jenn Hacker said...

Glad to see I'm not the only one neglecting my blog.

annalu alulu said...

oh, and I really liked what you said about selfishness and taking up your cross.

Tooz said...

Wheere's Bubba? Wheere's Bubba? Peep ear! (yes, it is an inside joke, but it has nothing to do with lottery tickets or women, just with posting)

Becca said...

Bih doe!

annalu alulu said...

BBLLLLLLLLLAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHG

Becca said...

I hope you intend to clean that up, young lady.

No more black eyed peas for you.

Tooz said...

Beansbeansthemusicalfruitthemoreyoueatthemoreyou

annalu alulu said...

POOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOTTTTTTT

Jenn Hacker said...

Everett, my brain cells are slowly dying one by one - quick! They need new material to read! Help! Post something, and save my poor brain cells!

(Not that what you'd written wasn't good stuff. It was. It's just that I almost have your post memorized word for word and would like some other words to masticate.)

annalu alulu said...

buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuubbbbbbbbaaaaaaaaa

annalu alulu said...

I love you!

Tooz said...

Bubba, are you going to be home tonight at 8 (your time) 9 (our time)? Love you.

Everett said...

Hey Mom. It'd be best if y'all called around 8:30 your time, 7:30 mine.

Tooz said...

See, folks? There's proof that Everett at least reads the comments on his blog, even if he doesn't always update it.