True Liberation   1 comment

Above:  Saint John the Baptist

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Blessed Lord, who caused all holy scriptures to be written for our learning:

Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them,

that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life,

which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ;

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer (1979), page 236

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The Assigned Readings:

Isaiah 61:1-11

Psalm 97 (Morning)

Psalms 99 and 8 (Evening)

Luke 1:57-80

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Some Related Posts:

Isaiah 61:

http://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2011/06/04/fifteenth-day-of-advent-third-sunday-of-advent-year-b/

Luke 1:

http://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/advent-devotion-for-december-23/

http://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/advent-devotion-for-december-24/

http://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/fourth-sunday-of-advent-year-c/

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The spirit of the LORD is upon me,

Because the LORD has anointed me;

He has sent me as a herald of joy to the humble,

To bind up the wounded of heart,

To proclaim release to the captives,

Liberation to the imprisoned;

To proclaim a year of the LORD’s favor

And a day of vindication by our God….

–Isaiah 61:1-2, TANAKH:  The Holy Scriptures

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The text from Luke 1 echoes Isaiah 61.  In each case a prophet will proclaim a message from God, who “has visited his people” and liberated them (Luke 1:67, New Jerusalem Bible).  This seems like an excellent time to point out the obvious:  Post-Exilic Judea was part of the Persian Empire and Post-Hasmonean Judea was part of the Roman Empire.  The Persians were generally more friendly that the Romans, at least.

So what kind of liberation was this?  It was not political autonomy or independence.  No, this was spiritual liberation–freedom (with rules) to love and follow God in daily practices and attitudes.  Any lack of liberty–such as slavish legalism–was self-imposed.  This spiritual liberation did not–and does not–depend on outside political or legal forces.  In other words, this is an internalized liberation.  Many martyrs have exhibited it under great stress.  I have been writing hagiographies for my SUNDRY THOUGHTS weblog lately.  Again and again I have encountered exhttp://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/amples of this pattern.  These martyrs still died, but they died as free men and women, even though they were prisoners.

Regardless of your circumstances, O reader, may you be free.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 22, 2012 COMMON ERA

ASH WEDNESDAY

THE FEAST OF ERIC LIDDELL, SCOTTISH PRESBYTERIAN MISSIONARY TO CHINA

THE FEAST OF SAINT PRAETEXTATUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF ROUEN

THE FEAST OF RASMUS JENSEN, LUTHERAN MISSIONARY TO CANADA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS THALASSIUS, LIMNAEUS, AND AND MARON, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONKS

http://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/devotion-for-january-1-lcms-daily-lectionary/

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  1. Pingback: Devotion for January 1 (LCMS Daily Lectionary) « ADVENT, CHRISTMAS, AND EPIPHANY DEVOTIONS

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