Third Sunday after the Epiphany January 24, 2016
“The Spirit of God is upon me”
Jesus declares in front of his home audience: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim the good news.” That alone is a powerful statement. But it seems to be the second part of the declaration that sets off a storm. Jesus is going to give priority to the poor, the prisoners, the blind, and the oppressed. He declares a jubilee for this audience of the least, the last, and the forgotten. The filters of his listeners cause them to be deeply offended and reject the message! But why? We can get off track trying to figure out the rejection. The most important thing is the message.
Jesus is declaring an essential truth about the presence of God. For the individual and the community to hear it demands the ability to lay all filters aside. To accept it requires a radical investment in the presence of God. Sadly, much energy can be spent avoiding it—for the individual, the faith community, and the neighborhood.
Throughout Luke’s Gospel we hear and see this theme repeated: the Good News of God is for everyone but comes alive when we let go of our filters and fear, in order to let it touch us at every level of our lives and identity.
Today God invites us to consider how we remain poor, imprisoned, blind, and captive to our illusions of control and power. The Spirit of God invites us again to let go and let God have complete presence in us.
Neil Routh, pastor, King Moravian Church, King, North Carolina