Reading this special Haftorah (Shabbat Hagadol) actually made me a bit sentimental! Last year, my daughter chanted this haftorah at her Bat Mitzvah, although her Torah reading was different. The reading anticipates the redemption of the Exodus which is commemorated in the Passover Hagadah by challenging us to cling on to our faith and ethics even when it seems that these don't really pay off. We see others literally getting away with murder, we see our convictions challenged every day. Why do it all? The prophet assures us that not only will the redemption come one day that will make it all worth while, but that doing the right thing is in fact its own reward.
17 And on the day that I am preparing, said the Lord of Hosts, they shall be My treasured possession; I will be tender toward them as a man is tender toward a son who ministers to him. 18 And you shall come to see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between him who has served the Lord and him who has not served Him....23 Lo, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before the coming of the awesome, fearful day of the Lord. 24 He shall reconcile parents with children and children with their parents, so that, when I come, I do not strike the whole land with utter destruction.