The reality of a personal form of bondage came to me a few years ago when aggressive arthritis destroyed both my hips, leaving me on crutches for more than a year and leading to replacement surgeries. Many people face surgery with dread and anxiety, but for me it produced hope and release.

I came to understand Isaiah's words in a new, deep, and transformative way. I moved from a very limited and painful reality into a new world—fresh, renewed, and pain free. It was as if I had been transported from one world to a completely different one. I received a second chance and a new beginning. And throughout the ordeal I developed a new way of looking at pain and disability and cultivated a deep empathy for people whose afflictions are not so easily remedied.

We encounter people every day who suffer from physical, emotional, mental, cultural, and spiritual bondages we cannot even see. But, by God’s grace and the promise of the prophet Isaiah, we can be witnesses to the transformative power of God. We are believers in new beginnings and the possibility of new realities. We have been touched by the healing power of the Holy Spirit, and we know that while not all afflictions will be cured and not all captivities will be ended, we always have hope.

I walk now without pain, and there are times when “the former things [pains] shall not be remembered or come to mind.” I never fail to give thanks for my new beginning, rejoicing in my freedom, yet mindful of the many people yet to experience such release.

Our loving God of healing and hope, meet us where we are. Grant us your peace, comfort, and strength. We ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Leer Luke 21:5-19

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Leccionario Semanal
November 7–13, 2022
Resumen de la Escritura

This week we read two passages from the prophet Isaiah. In the first, God promises a total restoration, a new heaven and a new earth— a theme repeated in Revelation 21. The new Jerusalem will be filled with joy and prosperity. Isaiah 12 offers thanksgiving to God for the gift of salvation. The praise of God will be proclaimed among many nations. In the epistle, Paul chastises a lazy faction among the Thessalonians. This passage has been misapplied as teaching against providing assistance to the poor, but Paul’s target is not the poor; it is those who can provide for themselves but fail to do so because they say they are too focused on waiting for Jesus. In Luke, Jesus foretells future turmoil for Jerusalem at the hands of the Romans.

Preguntas para la reflexión

Read Isaiah 65:17-25. How can you play a part in Isaiah’s vision for God’s people? When do you have to accept that only God can usher in this vision? How do you know the difference between these two situations?
Read Isaiah 12. How can your words be life-changing for others?
Read 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13. Who has mentored you in the faith? How has their guidance helped you grow?
Read Luke 21:5-19. How do you speak the truth of Jesus to those who say the end is near?

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