A Full Copy of January 27th Thursday Thoughts Can be Found HERE
The 10:30 service can be viewed online at: https://boxcast.tv/view/sunday-january-30-2022-973351
January 27th 2022
In last Sunday’s Gospel lesson from Luke, Jesus returns to his hometown, goes to the synagogue, and reads these words from the prophet Isaiah, “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.’ These words from Isaiah, quoted by Jesus, fulfilled in Jesus are the center of the Gospel, the shaping of our understanding of who Jesus is and what he does.
The implication for us who claim to be disciples of Christ, followers of Jesus, is that we need to keep going back to this passage to measure our work and ministry.
You see it is not just that the Spirit of the Lord is embodied in Jesus, the Spirit of the Lord is to be embodied in us. How do we embody the Spirit of the Lord? What are we saying and doing to embody compassion for the poor? How are we paying attention to those who are imprisoned by the culture, poverty, and all the “isms” we can list? What are we saying and doing that proclaims new beginnings for those who have failed, struggled, and have been pushed aside?
We also read from I Corinthians 12, Paul’s description of the Church as a body. The Apostle Paul reminds us that we ought to see ourselves as a body that embodies Jesus. Paul reminds the church at Corinth that everyone is important. Every person brings gifts to the work of the embodiment of Jesus. There are no gifts that are more important than any other gifts.
Those words spoke to many of you who have wondered what your gifts may be and how you could share those gifts. It has been a fun week having conversations with so many of you as you have shared where you believe God may be calling you. At several meetings, people referred to their gifts. Others in those meetings affirmed those gifts in their colleagues and friends.
The identification of spiritual gifts and the nurturing of those gifts is the work of the whole community. When the whole community is involved in the identification of those gifts and the nurture of those gifts, there is power and energy. May that Spirit continue to move within and among us.
Rev. Dr. Barbara Kershner Daniel
Evangelical Reformed United Church of Christ