Isaiah 66:10–14—Those who remained faithful to the Lord during the days when Isaiah prophesied in Judah had reason to mourn over Jerusalem: hypocrisy, unbelief, and idolatry were common among the people. Likewise, through the ages, including our own, God’s faithful people have reason to mourn when they see the condition of the visible Church: rejection of the authority of the Word of God, acceptance of sins, rather than forgiveness of sins, being preached, and so on. Yet, we know that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Lord’s Church (Matthew 16:18), so we can rejoice. We can rejoice, for the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ provides nourishment, comfort, and abundance for our souls. As a mother nurses her child, so we are nursed by the Holy Word of God.
Under the theme “The Nature of God’s Kingdom” Isaiah tells us of life in the New Jerusalem. There is reason to rejoice for God blesses her with prosperity and comfort.
The birth of a baby is a miracle, a wonder to behold. Thus, Isaiah begins this oracle with the exhortation to rejoice in Jerusalem. Don’t mourn for her! She is not dead! Her inhabitants have been carted off into long captivity in Babylon and it would seem that there is no life in her; yet she is very much alive. The LORD will cause her to bring forth sons who will rejoice in her.
Isaiah’s prophecy breaks into our gloom and doom with a startling announcement; Like Jerusalem of old, the LORD’s church is very much alive! Despite appearances, it is not yet time to mourn over her. The LORD has begotten a Son twice; once in eternity and once in time, as He sent His only begotten Son into the world that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life. And this Son has “given birth” to His Church. It is His church, it is His body. He has brought it into existence through His life, death and resurrection and He will maintain it and make it prosper.
Collect for Proper 9: Almighty God, You have built Your Church on the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus Himself as the cornerstone. Continue to send Your messengers to preserve Your people in true peace that, by the preaching of Your Word, Your Church may be kept free from hard and danger; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. AmenCollect for Wednesday of the week of Pentecost 4: Almighty and everlasting God, give us an increase of faith, hope and love; and that we may obtain what you have promised, make us love what you have commanded; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen  -29 June, 2022
 Lift High the Cross, copyright © Ed Riojas, Higher Things
 Collect for Proper 9, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
 Collect for Wednesday of the week of Pentecost 4, For All the Saints, A Prayer Book For and By the Church, Vol. II © 1995 The American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, Delhi, NY