Faith Daily | 8 March 2021
PRAYER of the WEEK Lent Three
Lord God, our Redeemer,
who heard the cry of your people
and sent your servant Moses to lead them out of slavery:
free us from the tyranny of sin and death
and, by the leading of your Spirit,
bring us to our promised land;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen APBA p486
GOSPEL for the Day: Luke 4: 24-30
24And he said, ‘Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s home town. 25But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up for 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 Kathy Allen
In the synagogue, Jesus has just proclaimed that the scriptures have been fulfilled through Him and that when God’s help is withdrawn, the gates of heaven are shut to non-believers.
Imagine the silence. Imagine the subsequent outrage. The crowd snaps.
These messages inflame the Pharisees who refuse to accept His teachings and feel deeply threatened. The people almost immediately start to question and doubt. Jesus acknowledges their scepticism but it does not stop Him from demonstrating in forceful terms that not only does He know the scriptures as well as the Pharisees, but also that He moves beyond the usual or obvious interpretations that have made the Pharisees so comfortable in their beliefs and assured of their power.
Jesus makes it clear that it is only He who can save people from their sins by His act of forgiveness and it is through belief in Him that social and economic oppression can and will be addressed. Even the most unlikely of people – the poor, the poorly educated, the ill - will be saved by Jesus if they believe and follow Him. Jesus is pushed out of the synagogue and the city to the edge of a cliff. The Pharisees are intent on pushing Him off. Wondrously, Jesus has already moved forward and has gone on His way. He leaves the non-believers literally on the edge. Will they ever listen and believe?
FINAL PRAYER: from “Bread of Tomorrow”, Lesley Anderson
Our God and Father,
we confess with shame that we have come short of your glory.
We have not done what we ought to have done.
We have remained deaf to the cries of those who hurt.
We have remained dumb in the face of evil.
We have allowed the shadow of death to hover over
the innocently condemned.
We have failed to proclaim with power and conviction
your liberation for the oppressed.
We repent. In your grace and mercy forgive us:
renew us in mind, heart and spirit,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.