Once a month – usually the second Sunday - Janet & I get together with some friends, have some lunch together and share what’s been going on in our lives over the previous weeks and look at Scripture.
On the second Sunday afternoon in November we looked at Luke 4 as part of a DVD we’ve been using as a starting point for our discussion.
The following Monday morning, I received the week’s overview of a daily e-mail I receive from Ian Adams:
…then I received the first of the week’s daily “Morning Bell” e-mails working through some thoughts inspired by Luke 4, outlined here from The Message:
Greetings morning bell people
The Church is in the 'kingdom' season this month. This time encourages us to look for the new thing that God is doing, to seek God's better-world-now breaking in and breaking out all around us, even to open ourselves up to somehow becoming a sign of that state of 'shalom'.
This week’s morning bell will take as its starting point an insight into Jesus’ own sense of God's new thing being done in and around him, as told by the Gospel writer Luke. You can find the passage in Luke 4.
Jesus came to Nazareth where he had been reared. As he always did on the Sabbath, he went to the meeting place. When he stood up to read, he was handed the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll, he found the place where it was written,
God's Spirit is on me; he's chosen me to preach the Message of good news to the poor,
Sent me to announce pardon to prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind,
To set the burdened and battered free, to announce, "This is God's year to act!"
He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the assistant, and sat down. Every eye in the place was on him, intent. Then he started in, "You've just heard Scripture make history. It came true just now in this place."
On the way to the Office on that same Monday, I randomly selected a podcast to listen to on the train….Mars Hill…Walter Brueggemann, journeying through Isaiah, in that wonderful expansive raspy passionate way he has when teaching. Brueggemann made reference to the passage in Isaiah 61, which Jesus recalls in Luke 4, as he quotes scripture.
...again from my most regularly read version, The Message...
Announce Freedom to All Captives
The Spirit of God, the Master, is on me because God anointed me.
He sent me to preach good news to the poor, heal the heartbroken,
Announce freedom to all captives, pardon all prisoners.
God sent me to announce the year of his grace—
a celebration of God's destruction of our enemies—
and to comfort all who mourn..
I’d excitedly been sharing this increasingly consistent series of prods with my friends from our Small Group, by firing off an e-mail each time another one came along.
Here’s the one reply I received from one of those friends:
Was listening to Premier yesterday and the thought read during one of the shows was Isaiah 61 v 1 couldn't believe it almost word for word Luke 4 v 18…
Then, last night I was noodling away on Youtube, having seen a little vid by Rick McKinley of Imago Dei in Portland who had been the target of my search, and found one of the clips of Bono and Bill Hybels, and ……whaddyaknow? It’s those passages again!
Check out the vid: