January 24, 2013

Since the people of Jesus’ day were so intent on looking for God’s vengeance on their oppressors, and that thoght has prevailed through the centuries…how did we today come to believe that this One who was coming with all of this power, this one who would liberate the people, this one who would come and overthrow ruling powers and establish a new kingdom…

… how did we finally come to believe that this One instead came as a tiny little baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, born in a manger, born to the most unlikely of parents, peasants…no fanfare, no trumpets announcing his arrival to kings of nations…only the stars spoke of his arrival as their courses changed and angels sang to a few shepherds on the hillsides…not even a place to be born except a cattle stall…how did we come to believe that this One was the Mind of God?…

It all started in Nazareth…when Jesus stood and read from the prophet Isaiah and said, “Today, this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”  And somebody listened, paid attention, looked at what Jesus was doing, and saw the parallel with Isaiah’s prophecy.  It would have been an Ahh Haa! moment.  And followers of Jesus set out to help fulfill what Jesus began.

Christians still need Ahh Haa! moments today, times when we “Get it” that the fulfillment of the Kingdom Jesus introduced is largely dependent on the followers of Jesus.  That fulfillment gets closer when we love and offer Good News to the poor, when we offer freedom in Jesus, when we help the Spiritually blind to see, when we proclaim with all that is in us that the Kingdom is at hand…

So what does it mean that Jesus stood in the Synagogue, read the prophecy about himself and declared that prophecy fulfilled?  It means that the Kingdom is underway, that God’s mind is being expressed through Jesus – and at least partially through those who see it…and it means that we will often have as difficult time as the first listeners getting people to believe.

Just like in Jesus’ day many will listen but few in relation to the many will commit to Kingdom living… “Loving God with all heart, soul, mind, and strength, and loving everybody else after that.” 

Peace

Jim

 

 

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