Working in Unity
Isaiah 61 (ESV) 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. They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations. Strangers shall stand and tend your flocks; foreigners shall be your plowmen and vinedressers; but you shall be called the priests of the LORD; they shall speak of you as the ministers of our God; you shall eat the wealth of the nations, and in their glory you shall boast. Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion; instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot; therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion; they shall have everlasting joy. For I the LORD love justice; I hate robbery and wrong; I will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. Their offspring shall be known among the nations, and their descendants in the midst of the peoples; all who see them shall acknowledge them, that they are an offspring the LORD has blessed. I will greatly rejoice in the LORD; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations.
Throughout the Gospels, we see the ongoing significance of the Trinitarian revelation that occurred at Jesus’ Baptism. In Luke 4:18, Jesus quotes a Messianic prophecy from Isaiah 61: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed Me to proclaim good news to the poor.” As Jesus proclaims Isaiah 61, He identifies the Holy Trinity: “the (Holy) Spirit of the Lord (Father) is upon Me (the Son).” This statement points back to His Baptism by John in the Jordan, when the Spirit came upon Jesus, sent from the Father. Jesus’ anointing with the Spirit also is mentioned in Acts 10:38, which says that “God (the Father) anointed Jesus of Nazareth (the Son) with the Holy Spirit and with power.”
A passage that brings together the work of the Persons of the Trinity in saving us is Hebrews 9:13-14: “For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.” The Holy Spirit, whom Jesus had received in His Baptism, assisted Him in His sacrificial death on the cross, which appeased the wrath of God the Father against our sin. Now through the cleansing blood of Christ (God the Son), which is distributed by God the Holy Spirit in the Word, Absolution, Baptism, and the Lord’s Supper, our consciences are purified of our sins (dead works) so that we may now serve the living God (the Holy Trinity) through prayer, praise, and thanksgiving in the Divine Service of the Church and through works of service to one another in our daily callings.
Prayer: Most glorious Trinity, in Your mercy we commit to You this day our bodies and souls, all our ways and goings, all our deeds and purposes. We pray You, so open our hearts and mouths that we may praise Your name, which above all names alone is holy. And since You have created for us the praise of Your holy name, grant that our lives may be for Your honor and that we may serve You in love and fear; for You, O Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, live and reign, one God, now and forever. Amen.