…every tree that does not produce good fruit
will be cut down and thrown into the fire. ~ Luke 3:9
READING: Isaiah 61:1-3
In the synagogue, Jesus read this to the Jews who were present (Lk. 4:18, 19). His twist on the passage is that the time of the Lord’s favor has come. Isaiah said, “that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.”
The Lord’s favor has come to oaks of righteousness: the poor, the brokenhearted, the captives, and those who are bound who mourn in Zion. They receive beautiful headdresses instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit. They are the planting of the Lord for the purpose of glorifying Him!
Greatly offended, the synagogue crowd took Jesus out to a cliff intending to throw him to his death. Miraculously, he passed through the angry mob to continue the story of his glory with power and authority. His followers continue, to this day, bringing the story of his glory and establishing oaks of righteousness in the earth.
‘Planting churches’ is the planting of the Lord. We are the oaks of righteousness, dead and fallen to the earth where new life can sprout for the purpose of the kingdom of God. Oak is strong and resists disease. Its products are enduring and beautiful. Furniture is made from oak. Oak barrels are preferred for aging wine. Oak wood chips bring a uniquely rich flavor to smoked fish, meat and cheese. May we continue to plant more oaks of righteousness with the articulate and accurate conveyance that the Lord would be planted and glorified!
O Sovereign Father, Make us oaks of righteousness, an eternal investment of life entrenched in the earth forever extending toward heaven. Keep us continually multiplying and growing with strength and endurance. Amen.