Sunday, January 27, 2019
The Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (3rd Sunday after Epiphany)
The Revised Common Lectionary passages for the Lord’s Day are:
First Reading: Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10, Psalm: 19
Second Reading: I Corinthians 12:12-31a
Gospel Reading: Luke 4:14-21
The liturgical color for the day is: Green
Nehemiah had it right. When did we decide that reading the Word of God was not worth a celebration and a party?
Just picture it that day as the exiles have returned. All of them gathered there. All of them hearing the Word of God—it was an incredible scene. That word “all” is key to the story of what happens there in the book of Nehemiah. The promises of God are for you and your children and your children’s children and your neighbor and their neighbor too! It is for “all.”
“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.”
This is mission Jesus. He knows what he is about, and he is making that perfectly clear. This little portion of Scripture…this great little portion right here in the Gospel of Luke is about the purpose of Jesus. It is how he understood his role and who he understood himself to be. He never made his life and his living about him—it was always about his mission and what he was called to do.
We see that even clear and even larger with the cross. We see that it is the place where we encounter the favor of the Lord and we as the freed with this good news of God’s love that cannot be stopped, moved, destroyed, lost, or altered.
Mission Jesus—anointed, bring good news, proclaim release, recovery, freedom. That is what we are all about—it is the mission Jesus in us. Mission is ultimately about our purpose…about living into the mission of Jesus.