#DailyDevotion On this 1st day of our year, let it be the year of the Lord’s favor upon you.
Read Is 61:1–11
Isaiah 61:1-3 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; (2) to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; (3) 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.
The opening verses Jesus in his first sermon at Nazareth reads and then proclaims that he has fulfilled it. Everyone marveled at his words. Then they decided to kill him. Why? Because they did not believe him. Yet Jesus in his earthly ministry did indeed do all these things. He proclaimed the good news, bound up brokenhearted, gave liberty to those who were captive to their sins and at his death open the gates of heaven to those bound in Hades. His death and resurrection brought upon the year of the Lord’s favor.
Today Jesus still does these things through his priest, i.e. all his disciples who proclaim the excellencies of him to a fallen world in their daily vocations, of all Jesus has done for them. Jesus does it through all his pastors who faithfully teach and preach what Jesus has done for the world. Jesus does it through the Word and Sacraments he exercises through his pastors.
So now, through his people and his pastors, with the Word and Sacraments, Jesus adorns us with a beautiful headdress called faith, the oil of gladness who is the Holy Spirit, the garment of praise which is his righteousness. We who have put our faith in Jesus because of these things while we look broken to the world are instead oak of righteousness through whom our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is glorified.
On this day of Jesus’ naming and circumcision we greatly rejoice in the Lord and exalt in Jesus who is our God. Through his first spilling of blood this day, he began to fulfill all righteousness for all mankind. In us, Jesus is causing righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations who do not acknowledge Jesus as their King. This new year, will Jesus be your King? Will Jesus be allowed to give you his righteousness? Will you allow the brokenness of his cross bind up the wounds of your soul and grant you peace, joy, and courage in the face of all obstacles? Will you let him turn your sorrow over you guilt and shame into joy and gladness? Jesus is here in his Church, his people and he can and will do it through his Word and Sacraments.
Lord Jesus Christ, on this day you first spilt blood that we may obtain your righteousness, grant us such faith in you that our souls are indeed bound and we are set free from the guilt and shame of our sins, that we may bear your righteousness and covered with the oil of gladness. Amen.