LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL: FREE TO FORGIVE
This week we come to the end of our series Liberty and Justice for All with the sermon Free to Forgive. How does our society move forward from the divisions, brokenness and failures? We see the impact of the “cancel culture” in which people have been fired or have resigned, due to their failures or at times simply because of an unpopular decision. We have seen statues torn down in an attempt to erase the past, but it does not truly cleanse us of guilt. Shame and guilt continue to be used as weapons, but these only enhance our divisions and anger! What can we do? We have to break the chain of shame and find the freedom to forgive. We turn to Isaiah 61:1-8 for help. Jesus reads the first two verses as the commission of his ministry. These verses are filled with transformation, wholeness, and hope to overcome a shameful past and look toward a new future. These words are not just for Jerusalem or Israel, now because of Jesus, they are for all of us! Let these words of healing minister to your heart through the power of the Holy Spirit. Let them lift you from the fear and despair of our cancel culture into the light of God’s forgiving presence! Isaiah 61:1-8:The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim 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, 2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 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. 4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. 5 Strangers will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards. 6 And you will be called priests of the LORD, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast. 7 Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours. 8 “For I, the LORD, love justice; I hate robbery and wrongdoing. In my faithfulness I will reward my people and make an everlasting covenant with them.