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The Bulletin Insert Sunday 24th January, 2016 Epiphany 3 Year C “Jesus’ life program”

Lismore Anglican Parish Bulletin Insert – Sunday 24th January 2016, Epiphany 3

Jesus’ life program Neh 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10, 1 Cor 12:12-31, Lk 4:14-21

 

The reading from the scroll of Isaiah which Jesus preaches from in his hometown is the preface and program for the whole of the Gospel. As is proper for the reader from the scroll, all eyes are fixed on him. The text that Jesus reads speaks of the coming of the Messiah, which is Hebrew for ‘the anointed one.’ In the Spirit, the anointed of the Lord, Jesus proclaims how he will fulfil his messianic mission. Throughout the Gospel of Luke good news is proclaimed to the poor – the captives, the blind and the downtrodden.

Israel knew of a wonderful year, the ‘year of the jubilee,’ which occurred as a conclusion to a cycle of seven sabbatical years. The basic element of this year was the liberation of all who, because of their poverty, had to sell their property or themselves into servitude.

As Jesus closes the scroll and gazes at his audience he is able to tell them that such a ‘year’ is about to happen, in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. ‘This text is being fulfilled today, even as you listen.’

In the Christian understanding of things, this ‘year’ did not merely run for 365 days during the lifetime of Jesus. It had its beginnings in the life of Jesus, but was then passed on to the Church before his ascension. In the life of the Church this ‘year of the Lord’s favour’ is still being proclaimed and lived.

The Church must be good news to all people, especially those who are broken in many different ways. This is not something which we, as members of the church, may or may not choose to do. It was Jesus’ life program, so it must be ours too.

(Adapted from This is the Gospel of the Lord – Year C, by Francis J. Moloney, p 120-1).

 

Luke 4:14-21 Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. 15 He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone. 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, 17 and 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, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

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. 21 Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10 All the people gathered together into the square before the Water Gate. They told the scribe Ezra to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the Lord had given to Israel. 2 Accordingly, the priest Ezra brought the law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could hear with understanding. This was on the first day of the seventh month. 3 He read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the book of the law. And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up. Then Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands. Then they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. 8 So they read from the book, from the law of God, with interpretation. They gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading. 9 And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept when they heard the words of the law. 10 Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions of them to those for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy to our Lord; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”                                                                                                                    1 Corinthians 12:12-31 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. 14 Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot would say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear would say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many members, yet one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and those members of the body that we think less honorable we clothe with greater honor, and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect; 24 whereas our more respectable members do not need this. But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior member, 25 that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it. 27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But strive for the greater gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.