One of the wondrous facets of the Judeo-Christian tradition is the rhythm of Old Testament prophesy and New Testament fulfillment. We saw that last week as Rev. Juliann Whipple preached on the story of the Magi following the star to find Jesus and bring him gifts as prophesied in Isaiah 60. Her challenge to let our lights shine in all we do still resounds with me, and I hope with you too.
Today we encounter Jesus as an adult back in his hometown of Nazareth. He was recently baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist. Luke 4:22 says “as he was praying heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’” Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led into the wilderness where he fasted for forty days and was tempted yet prevailed. Now at home, he enters the synagogue as was his custom. There he was handed the scroll of the prophet Isaiah and he reads:
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,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."
This prophesy comes from Isaiah 61. It is a prophesy of what the mission of God’s anointed Messiah will be. After Jesus read these words in the synagogue, Scripture tells us, “Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat back down. And said, “today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
Here Jesus is saying that he is the promised Savior coming to fulfill God’s mission. As we look as our mission as a church, as we consider where God would have us join Christ in ministry, what do these words tell us?
I look forward to discerning God’s will and particular mission for Eastminster as we journey on. Get Ready … Get Set … Go!