Join us today for an episode about the reason waiting is a verb...
Today's episode is focused on Isaiah 61: 1-4, 8-11 and John 1: 6-8, 19-28...
In today’s Spiritual Foundation Episode, I talk about Isaiah 61: 1-4, 8-11 and John 1: 6-8, 19-28. I share how waiting doesn’t mean doing nothing. I also share how we are called to action to create the hope that the world needs.
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Episode 1383: Our Fierce Joy
[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: Thanks for joining me on episode 1, 383 of the Inspired Stewardship Podcast.
[00:00:08] Emily Sander: I'm
[00:00:08] Emily Sander. I challenge you to invest in yourself, invest in others, develop your influence, and impact the world by using your time, your talent, and your treasures. to live out your calling. Having the ability to grow in your leadership is key.
[00:00:22] And one way to be inspired to do that is to listen to this, the Inspired Stewardship Podcast with my friend, Scott Maderer.
[00:00:35] Scott Maderer: And the joy that says, no matter what happens to me, I choose to trust in God. No matter what my individual feelings are, no matter what my inclinations are, no matter what I believe is right or wrong in this, no matter what is happening to me, whether I'm a victim or whether I am not, it doesn't matter.
[00:00:55] I'm going to join with community. I'm going to do good in the [00:01:00] world. Welcome and thank you for joining us on the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent, and your treasures for your true calling. In the Inspired Stewardship Podcast, you will learn to invest in yourself, invest in others, and develop your influence so that you
[00:01:32] Isaiah chapter 61 verses 1 through 4 and 8 through 11 says the spirit of the Lord God is upon me because the Lord has anointed me he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed to bind up the broken hearted to proclaim liberty to the captives and release to the prisoners To proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, to provide for those who mourn in Zion, to [00:02:00] give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit.
[00:02:07] They will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, to display his glory. They shall build up the ancient ruins. They shall raise up the former devastations. They shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations. For I, the Lord, love justice. I hate robbery and wrongdoing.
[00:02:26] I will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. Their descendants shall be known among the nations, and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them shall acknowledge that they are a people whom the Lord has blessed. I will greatly rejoice in the Lord.
[00:02:43] My whole being shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation. He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in [00:03:00] it to spring up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all nations.
[00:03:08] John, chapter 1, verses 6 8 and 19 28 says, There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who are you?
[00:03:32] He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, I am not the Messiah. And they asked him, What then? Are you Elijah? He said, I am not. Are you the prophet? He answered, No. Then they said to him, Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself? And he said, I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness.
[00:03:52] Make straight the way of the Lord, as the prophet Isaiah said. Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. And they asked him, [00:04:00] Why are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet? And John answered them, I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, the one who is coming after me.
[00:04:13] I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal. This took place in Bethany, across the Jordan, where John was baptizing. During Advent, a lot of times, there are a lot of passages that seem to be focused on John the Baptist. And John, of course, is an icon or a staple of this Advent season. It's all about preparing the way, warnings, baptisms, people get ready.
[00:04:44] And that seems to be the message that is always on his lips. The one that he sends. There was a man sent from God whose name was John. Just like this passage begins. We're like the priest and the Levites who ask the obvious [00:05:00] question. Who are you? Except we aren't really asking him to identify himself. His name is John.
[00:05:09] Instead, we're asking, what's your purpose? What's your intention? What do you mean for us? Are you the precursor? The forerunner? And if so, then what are we waiting for? And of course, the answer is not a what, but a who. John not only points to the who, the one who comes, but he also tells us how. How here being how to wait, how to live while we're waiting.
[00:05:39] A lot of times we talk about waiting on the Lord and waiting is something that a lot of times we think of as a passive event, but John is showing us how to wait. He's showing us to be alive in our waiting. to be gleeful, to be happy. He shakes off every guess [00:06:00] they throw him at him. Nope, not Messiah, not Elijah.
[00:06:04] And instead he says, I'm the message, I'm the voice, I'm just like you, I'm just like all of us. Lean into what is coming. All of us knowing what it isn't. and what it isn't going to be. All of us who are living without really understanding everything, it's okay to not really be clear on everything. Instead, lean into that doubt, lean into that uncertainty with peace.
[00:06:35] Embrace it with joy. Now, I don't know. They don't tell us what happened to the people after they came and asked John all these questions. They don't tell us if they stayed there or if they left and they were confused, just as confused as when they got there in the first place. They don't tell us if they sensed that there was something different about him.
[00:06:58] But there is [00:07:00] clear that people wanted something that he was giving. They would wade into the water looking for hope, looking for a new start. They were clinging to something that John had built up. This new way of living, this new way of being active and alive in the world, this new way of waiting. And John says he pointed to that way.
[00:07:28] Not he was the way, but he pointed to that way. If you go one more verse from where I ended in John, you'll see the next day he saw Jesus. And that's that desperation, that's that moment that we're all desperate for. And Isaiah, the passage from Isaiah earlier, this is one of those prophetic books that has At least two strong moods in it.
[00:07:59] The first [00:08:00] half, when things are going well a mode of warning, a mode of judgment a mode of paying attention. Look at how you're living, look at what you're doing, look at where your blessings are really coming from. Don't think you did it all yourself. Look at the foundations of your society.
[00:08:18] Do they reflect what it is to be the people of God? And then the second half where there's a desperate people who have lost it all, who are hungry, afraid, homeless, refugees, without status, without rights. And then there's also a mode where there's hope and there's promise and a call to live, even in those hopeless times, by a different standard.
[00:08:49] To embrace that period of waiting with joy. The prophet seems to be saying things are bad. Take my word for it. [00:09:00] But then the prophet also says good news. There's good news here for the oppressed. Good news for the broken hearted. Good news to the captives and the prisoners. Good news to those who mourn.
[00:09:11] What is this good news? Is it garlands? Is it oil? Is it wealth? Is it vengeance? No, none of those are here. Instead, the good news here is a message. Technically it's a message to, to decorate, to put things out. And those are all well and good, but that's not what's going to change the world, right?
[00:09:39] It's something like vengeance. It's something like revenge. It's something like smiting people. That's how we do it. But no, this is saying that lifting up hopeful things, even in the midst of darkness, celebrating even when things are going bad, that is a way of living out by the good news [00:10:00] and leaning into hope and not despair.
[00:10:04] It's not about rose colored glasses. It's not about being Pollyanna. It's not about ignoring the fact that there's bad things. No, instead it's saying that through God, through the prophet, through Jesus, the good news is coming. But we have to be active in this process. We have to be the ones who bind up hearts, who set people free, who rebuild.
[00:10:28] We have to work because we believe. We have to build because we have hope. And because we have hope, we're blessed. And then that blessing is lived out in more joy. In the joy that says, no matter what happens to me, I choose to trust in God. No matter what my individual feelings are, no matter what my inclinations are, no matter what I believe is right or wrong in this, no matter what is happening to me, whether I'm a victim [00:11:00] or whether I am not, it doesn't matter.
[00:11:02] I'm going to join with community and I'm going to do good in the world. We put up our lights and we put up our trees and our garlands. So that we can declare that the darkness is not the end. It is not the final answer. Light will come again. Thanks for listening.
[00:11:30] Thanks so much for listening to the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. As a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively listen, but act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoyed this episode, do me a favor. Go over to facebook. com slash inspired stewardship and like our Facebook page and mark it.
[00:11:59] [00:12:00] that you'd like to get notifications from us so that we can connect with you on Facebook and make sure that we're serving you to the best of our abilities with time and tips there. Until next time, invest your time, your talent, and your treasures. Develop your influence and impact the world.
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In today's episode, I talk with you about:
For I the LORD love justice, I hate robbery and wrongdoing; I will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. – Isaiah 61: 8