Lectionary Text: Isaiah 63:7-9 Literary Unit: Isaiah 63:7- 64:12 Sub-Units: Isaiah 63:7-14
Theme: Prayer for Redemption
Message: God’s Mercy Remembered
This section begins with a recollection of the past; the Holy Spirit plays a major role in the section of past deliverances. I find it most interesting that one of the major themes sown into the Advent story and crescendos with the birth of the Christ Child is the fact that Jesus was coming to save his people from their sins. At least this is one of the reasons given to Joseph for the pregnancy of Mary (see Matthew 1:20-23). The story of the advent of the promised Messiah is a story about recollection of the past and about redemption into the foreseeable future not only off the nation of Israel, but for the entire world.
This prayer as expressed in verses 7-9 seems to have made a profound impression on learned Jews, for the prayer offered in Nehemiah 9:5-37 follows the same pattern. It begins by reminding God of how he delivered them in the past (63:7-14; Neh 9:5-37). It stresses God’s might as well as his tenderness and compassion (63:15- 64:4; Neh 9:16-31) and finishes with an expression of the people’s repentance for their sins (64:5-11; Neh 9:32-37).
As we conclude this Advent season and anticipate Christmas Day, how might we reconsider the passages of Isaiah 63:7-9 as a recollection of what God has already done for us and as a prelude to what God’s has yet to work in our lives in the future?
Africa Bible Commentary, A One-Volume Commentary, Edited by Tokunboh Adeyemo, World Alive Publishers, Zondervan, Nairobi, Kenya, 2006, p. 850.
Lord, send me forth this day to bring your Good News
to those poor who hunger for a word of hope;
to my neighbor, starving for a friendly gesture;
to my co-worker who longs to be accepted.
Send me out with eyes open wide to see the loveliness of your creation,
the sight of your face in the face of the stranger;
the insight to know the right words and gestures to offer a hurting friend.
Send me in peace and joy that I might be an instrument of your liberating love,
Your joyful presence, your joyful presence, and your redeeming compassion.
Grant that I may bring your presence to a waiting world. Amen.