When Jesus began preaching in Galilee, he was something of a rock star. It’s pretty clear that he was a popular speaker, and the congregation in the synagogue paid attention, curious and eager to hear what he would say about Isaiah’s words.
Imagine Jesus as the guest speaker at our church today, invited to comment on the gospel reading. Would he offer practical suggestions for being a caring congregation? Maybe he would tell us we need to budget more for outreach, to set up a soup kitchen, or to begin a prison ministry.
Or maybe he would say, “Look. Today and every Sunday, I bring you good news, though it may no longer be ‘news’ to you. But I’m not sure it’s sinking in. Do you understand that God is doing a great thing among you? Can you tell me what that looks like in your church?”
When Jesus addressed the congregation at Nazareth, some were surprised, others missed it entirely, and some tried to run him out of town. They could not accept him as God’s messenger of love and salvation. How about us? How is his message fulfilled in our church, in our relationships with friends and family, and in our communities?
Open our ears, O Lord, to hear your good news and to understand how we might share it with the world. Amen. — SRN