He (Jesus) stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: “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, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:16b-19 (NRSV)
In the book, Holy Sweat, by Tim Hansel, he tells of a guest preacher in a rather large church, who began, “There are three points to my sermon.” Most people yawned at the point. They’d heard that many times before. But he went on. “My first point is this. At this time there are approximately two billion people starving to death in the world.” The reaction through the congregation was about the same, since they’d heard that sort of statement many times before, too. And then he said, “My second point…” Everybody sat up. Only 10 or 15 seconds had passed, and he was already on his second point? He paused, then said, “My second point is that most of you don’t give a damn!” He paused again as gasps and rumblings flowed across the congregation, and then said: “And my third point is that the real tragedy among Christians today is that many of you are now more concerned that I said ‘damn’ than you are that I said two billion people are starving to death.” Then he sat down.
The passage Jesus read in the synagogue that began his ministry in Luke’s gospel echoes the themes raised by Mary in her hymn of praise (The Magnificat) (Luke 1:46-55). Throughout Luke’s gospel we will see Jesus living out those themes as he preaches good news to the poor, gives sight to the blind and helps those who are in need. On Sunday, Trinity will be holding its annual meeting. An annual meeting is an opportunity to review our ministry for the past year and to look forward to our ministry for this year. It gives us a chance to reflect on our mission statement “To unite all people in the love and fellowship of Jesus Christ and to serve our growing community”. As we prepare for our annual meeting reflect on the following questions. In what ways have we as a congregation united people in the love of Christ this past year? In what ways have we been of service to our community? Have we been a church concerned about the poor, the lonely, and the needy or do we get hung up on minute details? As we plan our ministry for this year how are we as a congregation going to be a community that reflects Jesus vision read to his home congregation in Nazareth?