Our sermon scripture this week gives us...another sermon scripture!
In the Gospel of Luke this week we have Jesus standing up before the gathered congregation in order to read the holy words of scripture. He picks the words from Isaiah -- powerful words, transformative words, hopeful words. You'll find my abbreviated paraphrase up on the Whiteboard and you'll find the full text down below.
But Jesus doesn't stop by simply reading the words from Isaiah. No, he presses on. He proclaims, "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."
It is an amazing proclamation; an incredible thing to say. "You remember those holy promises from God? The ones you've been waiting on for so long? Well good news! Today is the day!"
And with that proclamation Jesus is laying out his mission and his ministry -- one that will be defined by liberation and light, by vision and transformation. Jesus is calling us this week to hear the old, old story and to believe that it still has the power to change us and set us free today!
Then 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,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.’
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.’