There's a part of the Affirmation of Baptism liturgy when we join confirmands in saying that we, as a church together and as individual members of the body of Christ, are committed to "strive for justice and peace in all the earth" (Lutheran Book of Worship, 201; Evangelical Lutheran Worship, 236). Yet it's so easy to become discouraged when we try to carry out this commitment. Injustice seems to prevail everywhere.
I think of John the baptizer, sitting in Herod's prison for telling the truth. He sent his disciples with a message for Jesus: "Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another" (Matthew 11:3; Luke 7:19)? John had baptized Jesus with such high expectations. He had pointed to Jesus as the powerful Lord who would save people and establish the reign of God.
Jesus had described this salvation and reign using the words of the prophet Isaiah: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor" (Luke 4:18-19).
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