I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions, but I am big on self-reflection and intentional growth. So, as 2013 started winding to a close, I began looking for a few verses that I could make my theme for 2014.
I wished for something fabulously obscure.
Isaiah 61:1-3 was not what I had in mind.
But, again and again, I was drawn back to these familiar words… words that I have read a thousand times before:
Because I belong to Jesus, the Holy Spirit is on me.
I am anointed, called, chosen, empowered.
I will preach good news.
I will bind up the brokenhearted.
I will proclaim freedom.
I will speak of God’s favor and God’s justice.
I will comfort those who mourn.
I will provide for those who grieve.
Together, we will display God’s splendor.
Together, we will rebuild what has been ruined.
Together, we will restore what has been devastated.
Together we will be agents of renewal.
I like to chop up these verses. To parcel out the anointing. To pick and choose what feels natural and comfortable to me (yeah, I’ve got that “I will speak of God’s favor and God’s justice” one). And to leave the rest (looking at you, “I will comfort those who mourn”) for someone else.
I am learning that I am too quick to discount my Holy Spirit instincts. I am too quick to dismiss an opportunity to love someone because I think I am not “good” at feeling compassion, or saying the right thing, or, you know, binding up the brokenhearted. I am too quick to overthink an impulse, to let the moment pass, to let fear win.
As a child of God, I have chosen to reject part of his anointing because I think someone else can do it better. No more.
And so I will linger in Isaiah 61 this year. I will speak and write and try to live these verses many times.
This, my friends, is the year of embracing the calling. All of it.
To preach and to bind up.
To proclaim and to comfort.
To rebuild and restore and renew.
To stand with you.
Together, to display God’s splendor.