Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Spirit of the Lord

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

Having a voice and being recognized as a minority, or as a shunned group, can be very difficult. Many in our land and in our church even, find themselves on the outside of the circle and experience that freedom and the word of God is not for them. We have been inundated by the voice of politicians in this season. We hear about all of the polls. Do we really know the heart of the local people? And do we really trust the spirit of God upon others?

Jesus opened the scriptures as one who had been a refugee in Egypt and as a child of an unwed mother. We can be pretty certain that he was outside of the circle, outside of the accepted group, and someone who was suspect for many, many reasons. He opened the scriptures and claimed that the scripture was fulfilled in that moment. Many were probably angered and moving to violence. How dare he? God's spirit fell on Jesus, and in our baptism, the spirit of God falls on all of us, and does not discriminate by the strictures of cultures. God's love is never limited by our shortsightedness, our judgements, our cultural failures. God invites all of us to be filled with the spirit for service in this very broken world.

Today, I ask the Creator to help me trust the Spirit and to use all my skills and my voice for the blessing of others. May we all see God's love and spirit today on those who differ from us, and may we make room for the voices we haven't listened to, and the people's lives who can bless us all.

The Collect
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.

1 comment:

mgdoolin said...

Yes, these days it's too much about what's in the polls and not enough about what's in the scrolls.