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Raise your voice… do not be afraid.” — The Messenger

Ode to JOY

For this third week of Advent, we turn to Luke’s writing, which is an account in two acts: the Gospel biography of Jesus and then the story of the early church–the “Jesus community.” Whether you were a Jew or Gentile in those days, deciding to become a part of this illegal early Christian movement could bring punishment for your allegiance.

Surely the message in both Luke and Isaiah that the downcast, lowly, and oppressed would rise up is a welcome and inspirational account. Like the Jewish exiled people of Isaiah’s time and like the early Christians, we also sometimes wonder where God is in our suffering. We long to hear the promise that a reason for joyful praise is the good news on the way!