The Mantle -- An Advent Text from Isaiah
As we begin this third week of Advent, looking forward to lighting that third candle we are reminded by this passage from the text of Isaiah that the calling of Jesus, the one we await, is to incarnate the message of justice. In a time when income inequality has reached levels unmatched for nearly a century, when a presidential candidate speaks of ending child labor laws so poor children can learn to work, when our prisons overflow, when so many are brokenhearted, this is a text that speaks to our times.
The word we hear from God is this: I, the LORD, love justice; . . .
Do we also love justice? As we continue our Advent journey, may we ponder this question: Am I on the same path as the one who is promised to come to us from God?
Text from Isaiah 61 (Common English Bible).
- 61 The LORD God’s spirit is upon me,
- because the LORD has anointed me.
- He has sent me
- to bring good news to the poor,
- to bind up the brokenhearted,
- to proclaim release for captives,
- and liberation for prisoners,
- 2 to proclaim the year of the LORD ’s favor
- and a day of vindication for our God,
- to comfort all who mourn,
- 3 to provide for Zion’s mourners,
- to give them a crown in place of ashes,
- oil of joy in place of mourning,
- a mantle of praise
- in place of discouragement.
- They will be called Oaks of Righteousness,
- planted by the LORD to glorify himself.
- 4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins;
- they will restore
- formerly deserted places;
- they will renew ruined cities,
- places deserted in generations past.
- 8 I, the LORD , love justice;
- I hate robbery and dishonesty.q
- I will faithfully give them their wage,
- and make with them
- an enduring covenant.
- 9 Their offspring will be known
- among the nations,
- and their descendants
- among the peoples.
- All who see them will recognize
- that they are a people
- blessed by the LORD .
- 10 I surely rejoice in the LORD ;
- my heart is joyful because of my God,
- because he has clothed me
- with clothes of victory,
- wrapped me in a robe of righteousness
- like a bridegroom in a priestly crown,
- and like a bride adorned in jewelry.
- 11 As the earth puts out its growth,
- and as a garden grows its seeds,
- so the LORD God
- will grow righteousness
- and praise before all the nations.