The Acceptable Year of the Lord

If Jesus showed up at church, what words would He offer?  Well, fun that we know what words He did offer when given that opportunity.  The words we looked at came from Luke 4.  Especially instructive to look at the verbs – the actions – in this sermonette.  They are engaging to read in light of the brevity of His comments – He said a great deal in a very short period of time – something critical in this day and age.

The verbs in His charge …

  1. preaching
  2. healing
  3. recovering
  4. freeing

What was deeply moving for me is the sense of peace about the mission of church these words speak to.  These were the verbs Jesus chose in addressing His hometown synagogue.  It is so easy to place “church” into an economic context –  if a church is growing and making money, it is doing what it is supposed to do. That is not what these words speak to.  A church is doing its job if it is speaking to what is true, being a healing presence in the world, helping those who are recovering and freeing those who are metaphorically imprisoned.  If a church does this, I imagine it will of course grow and be financially healthy but those two criteria are not the point.

Not easy to do.  Jesus was not at all interested in engaging theological or doctrinal debate.  His was a clear call to action, a call that when we hear, becomes the “acceptable year of the Lord.”  That is the place to build a church from.

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