Prayer: Teach us, good Lord, to serve You as You deserve. To give and not to count the cost. To fight and not to heed the wounds. To toil and not to seek for rest. To labour and not to ask for any reward, save that of knowing that we do Your will, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (“Prayers for all Occasions” Forward Movement Press, 1964).
St. Luke 4: 22-30
Jesus has just finished his teaching on the Scriptures as read during the Sabbath worship.
He has declared that he is the long awaited Messiah “today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing”. Luke writes that all the people spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from Jesus’ lips. All the people spoke well of Jesus. Yet, there are some that with great hostility and spite say, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” They all know Jesus. They all know he is Joseph’s son. Yet they have just heard that Jesus has declared himself the fulfilment of the Scriptures. Now they are beginning to wonder if they really know Jesus at all.
Re-read Luke 4: 23 – 27. Physician heal thyself means the people were beginning to wonder if Jesus had lost his mind. Jesus is the home town boy, not the Messiah. Or so they thought. Jesus declares that no prophet is accepted in his home town.
The people in the synagogue get angry and furious and they get up to drive him out of town. Goodness. What would cause the people to get so angry at a home town boy?
Because their eyes were still viewing Jesus as the home town boy and not the Messiah. Because their hearts were still viewing Jesus as the little boy from the home town and not the man that God had created.
Today, we must remember to open our own eyes and hearts to Jesus. As we come closer to the Church Season of Advent, we stop and remember that Advent is a time to Prepare the Way for Jesus in our hearts.
Prayer: Great God, You are the light of the minds that know You, the life of the souls that love You, and the strength of the wills that serve You. Help us so to know You that we may truly love You, so to love You that we may fully serve You, whom to serve is perfect freedom. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (“Prayers for all Occasions” Forward Movement Press, 1964).