Faith Daily | 30 August 2021
PRAYER of the DAY - PENTECOST APBA p576
Lord of all power and might,
the author and giver of good things:
great in our hearts the love of your name,
increase in us true religion,
nourish us with all goodness,
and of your great mercy keep us in the same;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Luke 4: 16-30
16When 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, 17and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: 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, 19to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 20And 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. 21Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” 22All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” 23He said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘Doctor, cure yourself!’ And you will say, ‘Do here also in your hometown the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.’” 24And he said, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown. 25But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land; 26yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. 27There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.” 28When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. 29They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff. 30But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way.
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Rev'd Sandra
When the people hear that the Messianic era is at hand, they rejoice; but when they hear that it will not entail what they expect – they become very angry with Jesus. In the minds of the Jewish listeners it was offensive enough to be reminded that Elijah had ministered to a poor Gentile widow, but it was completely intolerable to be living under oppression by Roman occupying forces, and be reminded that Elisha had healed a Syrian soldier, a country which had oppressed Israel at an earlier time. The people of Nazareth expected a Messiah to come and destroy Israel’s enemies, not minister to them.
This led to their outrage and their attempt to kill Jesus by throwing him off a cliff.
Nevertheless, we are told that Jesus walked away from them – he walked right through the middle of the crowd – and went on his way. What is certain from this incident is that Jesus’ ministry is far from over at this point.
His message was, and still remains, that God continues to reach out to all people and we are invited to understand that our God is gracious to all.
FINAL PRAYER: – From Iona Community “The Pattern of our Days”
Thanks be to you, God awesomely distant
thanks for the searing of shooting stars
the colours of the planets in the night sky
the space and power beyond our perceiving
which sparkles the sky of our lives with your caring.
Thanks be to you, God uncomfortably close
giving life to dead dry things
the dance of pure stillness - the beat of our hearts
is your doing.
Thanks be to you, God known in a body
Who blessed as he lived
Who raised up our life
to be gathered as one, reaching out for the kingdom. Amen.