Go! for Lent: Luke 4:18-19
The meaning of this scripture passage for me is that it is Jesus’ statement of mission a way forward for Jesus and for us today. It is used in my ministry and is the basis of the focus on mission in the New Visions Initiative for Congregational Renewal and Vitality.
Jesus read this particular passage not another, when after his baptism he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath, stood up and read from the scroll from Isaiah which was handed to him. The words seemed to mean that Jesus had an understanding of the path of his life before the inevitable end.
At that time he took on the cross that he was to bear, but before that day when he was to be crucified Jesus went about preaching, teaching and healing. He caused the lame to walk and the blind to see, he raised the dead, exorcised demons and ate with outcasts.
This is the example that Jesus left for us to guide and direct our path as we take on the Christian way of life. I suppose it can sometimes feel like a burden to be a Christian. You have to take the high road even when you may want do differently. You have to think of others, love your enemies, preach the gospel, witnessing to others. That is the responsibility that comes with following Christ. It is even risky.
Two years ago I went to a restaurant to order take out. While waiting for my order I noticed a woman sitting alone eating. I approached her and introduced myself and half an hour later we were still talking. She had just moved into the area and had not yet made any friends. During the course of the conversation I invited her to church saying that she would enjoy being among the people there. She said that she had not been to church in thirty years and I told her that did not matter. Well, the Sunday she decided to visit the Church I was not there because of my travel schedule.
But she returned and has kept on worshiping at that parish. She is now very involved in the life of the parish, eventually met a gentleman to whom she is now married and they both serve in various capacities and fully support the work of the church.
That experience helped me to remember that sharing my faith journey is an important part of whom I am as a Christian even not knowing the impact it will have on others. After all we are only the sower of seeds. Like Jesus we walk the road boldly giving all that we have and all that we are in the name of God and all to God’s glory.