"A new commandment I give unto you, That you love one another; as I have loved you.” This is what Jesus said at the time he washed his disciples feet, and at the last supper where he broke bread, as his body was to be broken soon after on the cross. This is how he first demonstrated love to us and then commanded us to [show/do] love for one another. In fact the very term “Maundy” used to describe the Thursday in Holy Week comes from the Latin word mandatum, the first word in the phrase “A new commandment I give to you…” But here as in other places in Scripture, Jesus is turning our understanding of both Himself and of love upside down.
by Rev. Kristen Yates
Good evening, it’s good to be preaching again from God’s Word.
So tonight, our Gospel reading retells the story of Jesus’ visit to the synagogue in Nazareth, his home town. Jesus reads from the prophet Isaiah and then instructs the people on its meaning. At first, the people in the synagogue respond to Jesus in wonderment, but as we will see in next week’s readings, this wonderment quickly turn to rejection.
Now, when I preached two weeks ago, I mentioned that the Season of Epiphany is a time when something significant is revealed about Jesus, usually something that points beyond his humanity to his divinity, his identity as God Himself.
To recap our readings - at his baptism, Jesus’ divine and messianic identity is revealed. At the Wedding at Cana, Jesus’ divine identity is showcased as we witness His miracle of turning water into wine. And at the synagogue in Nazareth, Jesus’ messianic identity is fleshed out - not only does Luke remind us that Jesus is the Messiah, but he gives us a sense of what the Messianic tasks at hand will be.
So let’s look back at the passage for a moment in our inserts and see how Luke does this.
At Crossroads this fall, we have been thinking together about church. What kind of church are we in the process of becoming? What kind of church do we want to become? Romans 12 provides some insight for us; we have spent several of our times together grappling with this text. What would it look like for us to both individually and corporately be the kind of people described here? What would it look like in South Salem, in the 21st century, as an Anglican church plant?