The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’S favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.
Christ is All We Need for Christmas
This is the season when people typically make a list of the things they would like for Christmas gifts. Children, especially, can usually come up with a pretty long list.
Despite all the gift-giving that goes on at Christmas time, the greatest gift we receive is a Savior who was born in a manger. There is nothing we need more than that. Just to prove that point, look at our Bible reading for today.
Jesus stood up in the synagogue at Nazareth and read this Old Testament passage. After rolling up the scroll, he said, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4: 21). Jesus confirmed that he is the one to give all the blessings of this Isaiah passage. And what great blessings they are! The good news of God’s love and forgiveness is proclaimed to poor sinners like us. When our hearts are broken by all the heartbreakers of this life, Jesus is there to bind them up with his peace. Instead of feeling trapped by our sin and death, Jesus sets us free to live powerful lives of forgiveness and hope. He makes us strong oaks to stand in the face of troubles. He puts a crown on our heads and declares that we are children of the King. He clothes us in his righteousness to stand before our God and the world as a display of God’s splendor.
What’s on your Christmas list? It is comforting to know that, even if we were to receive none of the gifts on our list, we would still have all we need because we have Jesus, our Savior.
Jesus, thank you for being the only gift I could ever really need. Amen.