Home Service 31st March 2024 Easter Day

Isaiah 62

Zion’s New Name

For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet, till her vindication shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch. 2 The nations will see your vindication, and all kings your glory; you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will bestow. 3 You will be a crown of splendour in the Lord’s hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God. 4 No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the Lord will take delight in you, and your land will be married. 5 As a young man marries a young woman, so will your Builder marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.
I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.
The Lord has sworn by his right hand and by his mighty arm: “Never again will I give your grain as food for your enemies, and never again will foreigners drink the new wine for which you have toiled; 9 but those who harvest it will eat it and praise the Lord, and those who gather the grapes will drink it in the courts of my sanctuary.”
Pass through, pass through the gates!
Prepare the way for the people. Build up, build up the highway! Remove the stones. Raise a banner for the nations.
The Lord has made proclamation to the ends of the earth: “Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your Savior comes! See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.’” 12 They will be called the Holy People, the Redeemed of the Lord; and you will be called Sought After, the City No Longer Deserted.


This passage is often used during marriage counselling. Isaiah’s words may not immediately seem to speak of marriage, but they address themes that remind us of the work God does in marriage. God brings two people together to reflect God’s righteousness, to delight in one another’s love, and to protect the peace of their home. Marriage changes their identity to the point where they are no longer individuals but one, each belonging to the other.
Not everyone gets married, and even good marriages occasionally lack joy. But at its best, marriage pictures something of the relationship between Christ and his people (Ephesians 5:21-32). Jesus and his people are one: he takes the sin and weakness we bring to the relationship, and we receive his righteousness and the joy of heaven.
Something new happens in salvation. God gives us a new name, a new identity: we are joined together with Christ. Isaiah pictures God publicly declaring his delight in us. Christ doesn’t just help us make the best of this life; he offers the promise of eternal life, when his people will be “the praise of the earth.”
Married couples keep learning what it means to be joined together; Christians grow in their relationship with Christ. May you grow in that way this year.

Thank you, God, for delighting in us. Remind us of the new name that is ours by grace, and help us to rest in your unceasing work to make us objects of your praise. Amen
We come before you, Lord, with our gifts. We have not chosen them – the Spirit selected each one for us. We have done nothing to earn them; we have done nothing to deserve them. It is only by your grace that we can use them, for without you, we are nothing. Enable us to use our gifts for your holy purposes, as we unite before you in fellowship. Amen.
Humbly, O Lord, we thank you for all the many blessings in our lives. We are grateful for home and family; and for this, our church family and our place in your house. Thank you for your many gifts to us, material and otherwise. Especially today, we thank you for the gifts of the Spirit. We marvel that we have been chosen to bear these. Come among us, Lord, touch us, that our gifts may be stirred into action for the beautifying of your worship, and the building up of us all. Amen.
Strengthened by the gifts and bonds that unite us, go now as individuals in a divided world. Sow seeds of peace and unity, and continue to work for God’s ways outside these walls. Amen.

Suggested Listening All I have and all I am is yours www.youtube.com/watch?v=86W_hvoKsQc Jesus is Lord! Creation’s voice proclaims it www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HHYt40whHQ God, who made the earth, declared https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpVJ0lFYh4Y

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