Thursday, January 21, 2010

Epiphany 3c - Luke 4:14-21

Luke 4:14-21
I was invited to preach at the congregation where I was brought up, Grace Lutheran, River Forest, Illinois, during their 100th anniversary year. Grace is a large congregation and has produced numerous pastors over the years so I had every reason to believe most of the people there would not know me or remember that their bringing me up was sometimes hard on both of us. Not so with Jesus. I imagine there was standing room only in the synagogue that day and everyone knew why they were there. Jesus does not disappoint but finds the words of promise that were the hope of those who sat by the waters of Babylon and wept and the longing of the oppressed under the new management of Rome. For a moment between the reading and the sermon there was silence, every eye fixed, every breath held, every ear attentive. As soon as he spoke the spell was lifted and in the verses that follow the SRO crowd rejects the promise fulfilled and turns ugly. But in the pregnant pause before he spoke, where anything and everything is possible, the scripture was fulfilled. Maybe that is where freedom and recovery and restoration are real for us as well. When in silent expectation hope is not diminished by attempts to rationalize or explain. Such waiting faith believes God is intimately aware of our deepest need. Such waiting faith believes the good news of grace for all the impoverished, held captive by circumstance beyond their control, blinded by sin and oppressed by fear. We hold onto such hope with radical trust that the proof is not in the pudding but in the promise itself. And that calls for patience which is not a virtue easily gained, but is well worth the wait.

No comments:

Post a Comment