The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.
Our house church meditated over this scripture last week, and when we came together yesterday to share what stood out to each of us, I was amazed and blessed by the way that the Gospel is universal and personal. That the fundamentals of the Gospel — that Christ came to love broken people and restore them to right relationship with God — is universal, but the specifics — what that looks like in your life — is personal.
For one person, the Gospel in their life is truth. For another, it’s hope. For me, it’s transformation — “a beautiful headdress instead of ashes.” God takes our cheap facsimiles and exchanges them for perfect things.
All are true. The Gospel is truth, and hope, and transformation, and life itself.