Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.
When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."
And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing." Luke 4:14-21
We are in prep mode for making a visit east with our family. Being far away has been a challenge and as the day approaches for our trip, I get more excited about seeing our daughters, my mother and my siblings. I am going home for a while, not long, and I want for all of the time to be good and positive. As I pack I think about all the people and places we will see and wish that I could pack a portion of what I have learned and witnessed here.
Jesus returns to his home after being well received across Galilee. People are excited and hopeful for his presence and his ministry. We know that all too soon some folks will find fault and others will plot and scheme. But on this day, standing in the temple and reading he realizes out loud what he has come for. He is comfortable in his role and in his skin, with joy seeing clearly the responsibility he has before him. He knows himself to be part of a larger plan. We all wish for days like that, when we understand ourselves in completeness and with no doubts. Being human, we experience them rarely, but in the midst of all the doubt, anxiety and confusion, God is acting for us through it all.
Today, may we embrace the life and the place God has given us. May we boldly do what we can do, in the time we have. May we trust that God is with us today and always, praying for strength to face the challenges and the doubts. May we know that we too have a role in the reign of God on earth and do all we can to bring God's love and healing where ever we are.
Give us grace, O Lord, to answer readily the call of our Savior Jesus Christ and proclaim to all people the Good News of his salvation, that we and the whole world may perceive the glory of his marvelous works; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.