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Sermon for December 11, 2011

Finding Joy in the Season

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, for the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. God has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. God has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the LORD’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. To all who mourn in Israel, God will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory. They will rebuild the ancient ruins, repairing cities destroyed long ago. They will revive them, though they have been deserted for many generations. “For I, the LORD, love justice. I hate robbery and wrongdoing. I will faithfully reward my people for their suffering and make an everlasting covenant with them. Their descendants will be recognized and honored …