Wednesday Worship Piece: Luke 4:16-21

Here is a simple blessing based on this week’s Gospel reading:

May the Spirit be upon you
as you proclaim good news to the poor,
release to the captives,
sight to the blind,
and freedom to the oppressed.
Go with power and go in peace.

Earlier today I read over a sermon I wrote based on Luke 4:16-21 back in 2006. It relies heavily on news stories of the day: Guantanamo Bay, the Amish school shootings . . .

At one point in the sermon I said, “When you preach a scripture, you have to live with it for awhile. You pray with it and you sleep with it and you talk to it. (Though not out loud if there are other people around.) And this passage and I have had a bit of a rough week together.”

Perhaps those of you preaching Luke 4 this coming Sunday are having a bit of a rough week with it as well. While the sermon in its entirety is outdated, I share with you the introduction, which lays out a question that is still relevant today.

What do you mean, fulfilled?

That question must have burned in the minds of Jesus’ listeners.

The poor have Good News? The oppressed are set free? Then why are there Roman soldiers patrolling Nazareth? Why am I impoverishing my family by paying taxes to Rome? What about my child who died of fever? My brother who is possessed by evil spirits?

What do you mean, fulfilled?

Luke’s audience, about 50 years after the event itself, must have asked the same question. The temple had been destroyed. Christians were being persecuted. Early Christian communities were struggling with classism, sexism, and divisions of all kinds. The world around them was filled with violence, disease, injustice.

What does he mean, fulfilled?

If we’re honest, we ask it too.

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And, for those observing Presentation day this Saturday, here’s a sermon on Simeon and Anna.

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Peace to you all . . . and blessed worship planning. ~Joanna

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2 thoughts on “Wednesday Worship Piece: Luke 4:16-21

  1. Pingback: Reading the Scriptues – Spacious Faith

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