Let’s take today’s readings and look at them in chronological order. First we have Nehemiah. The people are gathered together and the Law of the Lord, as given to Moses, is read out, and, importantly, explained, by the Levites – the clergy of their day. The people are being brought back to the basics, to the foundation documents of their nation, their faith. And these are also foundations of our faith, and of the legal system of our nation.
The people were greatly moved by all they heard, and began to weep and be sad. Why was that?
Maybe their conscience was being convicted of all their failures to follow God’s law. Maybe they could see that God was so loving that God had a great plan for them, and they had somehow failed to grasp it, and hence were no longer living in the beautiful fullness of life that God had marked out for them. Continue reading →
Sermon for Longview Rest Home, Tawa, Wellington, 31 January 2013.
(Luk 4:14) Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country.(Luk 4:15) He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.(Luk 4:16) 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,(Luk 4:17) and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:(Luk 4:18) “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, 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,(Luk 4:19) to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”(Luk 4:20) 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.(Luk 4:21) Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
In this reading we hear about Jesus returning to his home town, having been working miracles in the surrounding countryside. Continue reading →