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Weekly Lectionary Reflection - 11 December 2011


Isaiah 61.1-4, 8-11 (CEB)

Psalm 126 (CEB)

1 Thessalonians 5.16-24 (CEB)

John 1.6-8, 19-28 (CEB)

Sometimes I don’t understand the lectionary. Sunday would have been a perfect time to tie in the lesson from the Jewish Scriptures with Jesus reading the same passage in the Gospels. I mean, I get it. It’s Advent. We are about preparing for God’s coming. Isaiah talks about what to expect when God finally comes; when God’s promised Reign begins (Mark 1.14-15; NLT). But Jesus stating that it began with his ministry is so powerful. Especially when we see what’s entailed in that promise as spoken through Isaiah:

The LORD God’s spirit is upon me,
  because the LORD has anointed me.
He has sent me
  to bring good news to the poor,
  to bind up the brokenhearted,
  to proclaim release for captives,
     and liberation for prisoners,
  to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
  
This is what God’s promised reign looks like. After reading this, Jesus said, ‘Today, this scripture has been fulfilled just as you heard it’ (Luke 4.21; CEB). Today. Not someday in the far distant future. Today. Right now. And here’s the kicker; Jesus’ ministry is the ministry of those who follow Jesus. It’s our ministry, too. We are to do whatever we can to bring those things into the world. This isn’t something that only the clergy are called to do (though, if we remember our scriptures and Church history, we are all priests; see Romans 12.1 CEB; 1Peter 2.5, 9 CEB; Revelation 1.4-6, 5.9-10 CEB). This is the mission, the calling, the ministry of all people who follow Christ.

Furthermore, God’s promised reign isn’t limited to only ‘us’. The readings indicate a universal aspect to God’s reign. Isaiah states that, ‘the LORD God will grow righteousness and praise before all the nations.’ And, John wrote that the Light the Baptizer was a witness to ‘shines on all people . . . and the world came into being through the light’ (John 1.9-10 CEB).

I honestly believe that are missions, our goals in this life will be hindered until we firmly grasp this. It is only when we see that the whole creation is the offspring of God that we can give it the care, respect, and concern it deserves. This is not limited to just the planet, but all humanity - our families, friends, neighbors, and (supposed) enemies. We are all made in God’s image (John 1.3 CEB). And that Light that created us ‘shines in the darkness, and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light’ (John 1.5 CEB).



~~~
In the Love of the Three in One,

Br Jack+, LC

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