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This week we continue our preparation for Christmas, when, through the birth of Jesus Christ, God declares to us that it is good to be human and that he is on our side. As we journey through the season of Advent, we therefore say, Come, Lord Jesus. This week we remind ourselves of what God has done for us and what we might do in his name in response.

Read Isaiah 61:1-11. Sometimes, it seems the world has never been more divided or separated than it does today. Particularly on social media or when people discuss certain subjects, like politics, we have all but lost the art of disagreeing amicably.

Whilst humanity sometimes seems hellbent on tearing the fabric of life apart, the Holy Spirit always connects. He connects humanity to God and to each other. His is the ministry of reconciliation, of forgiveness, of healing. In him, two become one.

Jesus uses verses of this chapter from Isaiah to proclaim his earthly ministry. He comes to bring inside the outsider. He reunites the marginalised and those excluded by society: the poor, the broken-hearted, the prisoners and those in mourning. Jesus’ job description is to let the “last” know they shall in fact be first.

The more we allow the Holy Spirit to fill our lives, the more we allow him to give us the motivation to forgive, to include, to heal, to enjoy, the more we will become like Christ. Jesus is our model of healing, outreach, and reconciliation.


Think about the following:

•What divisions exist in your life? How can you use this season to allow the Holy Spirit to start to mend them?

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Rob Westwood-Payne

Hi - I'm Rob. I'm married to Gail and we have a handsome, cheeky cocker spaniel called Harley. I am a Christian leader, pastor and preacher. I am a Salvation Army officer leading a congregation in the south of England. I am a leadership and discipleship blogger and daily devotional podcast host.