Reflection: To transform from mourning to rejoicing is a huge shift – emotionally, physically, psychologically. Yet, the prophet calls the people to this very transformation. Why? Because God is doing a new thing. They will not be bound to their old situation. He will exchange their despair for praise. The product of the Messiah’s work (or ‘anointed one’ in Isa 61:1) is removal of unrighteousness and injustice. They can now stand tall, like solid oak trees, because God’s ways are now implemented in their community. From a
Christian perspective, this passage from the Old Testament can be read as a signpost pointing to the work of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, in the New Testament. Christ will exchange our ashes for beauty. Beauty is not just a surface prettiness, but characteristics that draw people to God.
Question: What beauty do you see in the work of Christ in your own life?
Prayer: Lord, you are beautiful. Your creation reflects just a hint of your majesty. Help us to see your beauty in our lives, the lives of others, and your creation.