Author: Bill SanFilippo
Reading: Isaiah 61:1-4
Ever since my first job, I always feared making a mistake. I feared getting written up, spoken to, or even fired from the job. When you find yourself a job that matches your passion for helping others and giving back, you tend to give it your all.
One of my first experiences with this was not necessarily a direct impact on me but on those who I led and who trusted me to carry out our community work. During Covid, we were forced to let go of some of our best staff; the staff that used their time, talent, and treasures to carry out the much-needed work in our local communities. They were angry and upset, and they asked God, “Why me?”
Recently, I was reminded again of why we look to Jesus for all these things in our lives, as mentioned in Isaiah’s scripture. One of our best employees, who worked 10-14 hour days, missed her kids’ sporting events, family time, and time with God, made a mistake, and was let go within hours. Needless to say, she was devastated and hurt.
We learn that God’s anointed is sent to the oppressed, to the ones whose hearts are crushed, to the captives, the imprisoned, and to all who mourn. Though unstated, in order to reach those persons, God’s anointed must, of necessity, confront the perpetrators and sources of oppression, marginalization, hopelessness, and despair.
In this time of hurt, pain, and reflection, we think of how we are here to help all of God’s people. Many of us wrapped our arms around her to make her feel comfort and love. It helped her heal and move on. Through prayer and hard work, she has landed a new job, just weeks later, which allows her to spend more time with family and work fewer hours for the same salary. Good news was delivered to those mourning and seeking hope.
This reminds us that no matter what happens, God has a plan for you and all. In this weary world, there is always hope and things to bring us joy when we trust God.
Loving God over all creation, many of Your people are mourning today because of abuse and affliction, disease and death, unjust punishments, and evil persecutions. Comfort all who mourn and make us instruments of Your peace. Lord Jesus, come again quickly and make all things right in Your sight.
Be a good steward of God this week! Identify someone you know who is struggling, hurting from a mistake they made, or mourning for whatever reason. Reach out to them via call, text, zoom, and letter, and let them know they are part of God’s plan and you are here to pray and support them.