January 27, 2019
On this third Sunday after Epiphany, we hear Jesus preach his first sermon at his home-town synagogue in Nazareth.
After wrestling in the desert with the devil’s three strategies for navigating world: prosperity, power, and immortality, Jesus tells his prayer partners in the synagogue he has an alternative vision. Jesus makes it plain his vision goes far beyond charity. Clearly, the anointing Jesus received took him more deeply inside the heart of God. And in that compassionate, holy heart, Jesus finds a oneness with the poor.
In the quest for spirituality dominating our time and place, we have invented rituals and mantras to escape from the world. We have constructed various ladders to help ourselves climb to the throne of God. We often prefer these self-soothing strategies over Jesus’ vision.
At our 9:30 A.M., Sunday worship, in prayer, Word, song, sermon and Meal, we’ll experience Jesus’ vision continuing today, still reasonable, still rigorous and still real. The Anointed One still walks the road leading from Nazareth toward the borderline between time and eternity: working among the poor, the oppressed, the mourners, the murdered and the murderers. Jesus still sees and walks in the only body he has right now, the one Paul calls the body of Christ. That would be us!