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Learning from early experiences

March 10, 2022
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Daily Scripture

Luke 4:14-44

During Lent, we are using short videos to share a daily idea (linked to the gospel of Luke) on how to grow spiritually. Watch today’s video. Click here or on the image below:

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Note: We are reading the entire gospel of Luke in the GPS. Some day’s readings are longer than usual. We hope you’ll have an extra cup of coffee, or use your lunch break, and read Luke’s entire story of Jesus.

14 Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news about him spread throughout the whole countryside. 15 He taught in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.

16 Jesus went to Nazareth, where he had been raised. On the Sabbath he went to the synagogue as he normally did and stood up to read. 17 The synagogue assistant gave him the scroll from the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:

18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me.
He has sent me to preach good news to the poor,
to proclaim release to the prisoners
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to liberate the oppressed,
19 and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor [Isaiah 61:1-2, 58:6].

20 He rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the synagogue assistant, and sat down. Every eye in the synagogue was fixed on him. 21 He began to explain to them, “Today, this scripture has been fulfilled just as you heard it.”

22 Everyone was raving about Jesus, so impressed were they by the gracious words flowing from his lips. They said, “This is Joseph’s son, isn’t it?”

23 Then Jesus said to them, “Undoubtedly, you will quote this saying to me: ‘Doctor, heal yourself. Do here in your hometown what we’ve heard you did in Capernaum.’” 24 He said, “I assure you that no prophet is welcome in the prophet’s hometown. 25 And I can assure you that there were many widows in Israel during Elijah’s time, when it didn’t rain for three and a half years and there was a great food shortage in the land. 26 Yet Elijah was sent to none of them but only to a widow in the city of Zarephath in the region of Sidon. 27 There were also many persons with skin diseases in Israel during the time of the prophet Elisha, but none of them were cleansed. Instead, Naaman the Syrian was cleansed.”

28 When they heard this, everyone in the synagogue was filled with anger. 29 They rose up and ran him out of town. They led him to the crest of the hill on which their town had been built so that they could throw him off the cliff. 30 But he passed through the crowd and went on his way.

31 Jesus went down to the city of Capernaum in Galilee and taught the people each Sabbath. 32 They were amazed by his teaching because he delivered his message with authority.

33 A man in the synagogue had the spirit of an unclean demon. He screamed, 34 “Hey! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are. You are the holy one from God.”

35 “Silence!” Jesus said, speaking harshly to the demon. “Come out of him!” The demon threw the man down before them, then came out of him without harming him.

36 They were all shaken and said to each other, “What kind of word is this, that he can command unclean spirits with authority and power, and they leave?” 37 Reports about him spread everywhere in the surrounding region.

38 After leaving the synagogue, Jesus went home with Simon. Simon’s mother-in-law was sick with a high fever, and the family asked Jesus to help her. 39 He bent over her and spoke harshly to the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and served them.

40 When the sun was setting, everyone brought to Jesus relatives and acquaintances with all kinds of diseases. Placing his hands on each of them, he healed them. 41 Demons also came out of many people. They screamed, “You are God’s Son.” But he spoke harshly to them and wouldn’t allow them to speak because they recognized that he was the Christ. 42 When daybreak arrived, Jesus went to a deserted place. The crowds were looking for him. When they found him, they tried to keep him from leaving them. 43 But he said to them, “I must preach the good news of God’s kingdom in other cities too, for this is why I was sent.” 44 So he continued preaching in the Judean synagogues.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Jesus defined his mission with the healing, liberating action words of Isaiah 61. In Nazareth, he met rejection and anger. The people in Capernaum wanted him to stay (verse 42). Jesus did not let either human rejection or popularity decide his actions, but steadily followed the course he and God chose.

  • Jesus claimed Isaiah 61:1-2 as his “job description.” He later said doing what he did is the call for all his followers (cf. John 14:12, 20:21). Re-read Luke 4:18-19. Which parts of this work are you most passionate about? Will you accept Jesus’ “job offer” and join him in actively carrying out God’s mission in our hurting world?
  • Jesus was the ultimate “servant leader.” That included intentional soul care. In verse 42 (again in Luke 5:16), Luke said Jesus made a point of praying in solitary places. Solitude—just you and God—can be hard. How could you create some alone time on purpose each day? How could you find longer periods of solitude with God as needed?

Click here to watch a special “Behind the Song” from the COR Worship Collective’s Sam Wells as she shares how Redeemer//Revival came together.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, rejected or praised, you steadily lived out God’s purpose for your life. Guide me in nurturing the inner springs of life so that I, too, can live out your purpose for me. Amen.

GPS Insights

Lindsey Arnold Seevers

Lindsey Arnold Seevers

Lindsey works with the Mission Ministries team and her Overland Park location colleagues to equip people to serve in Kansas City (and beyond!) through training and hands-on experiences. She also works closely with Hunger Ministry volunteers to help #FeedKC.

When she’s not juggling serve events, Lindsey enjoys creating music, puppets and sketch comedy with her husband Gary. Her favorite Bible story comes from John 21, because she will never turn down a brunch invite…especially not from Jesus.

I wonder if I could write a GPS so full of the good news that you might want to throw me off a cliff.

I’m writing today’s GPS Insight from the “welcome room” at the Resurrection Overland Park Food Pantry. We’re in-between the morning and afternoon appointments, so it’s pretty quiet in here, but down the hall, I can hear our volunteers chatting and laughing as they restock the shelves. It’s the perfect place to contemplate what Jesus meant by “preaching good news to the poor.”

You can’t eat a kind word or a smile.

A pocket New Testament might be comforting, but it won’t fill a growling little belly.

I can give a sermon to end all sermons but who wants to listen to that when they are sleeping in their car tonight?

The good news is that God is abundant beyond our imagination, constantly breaking through the artificial boundaries we draw between each other and around the Divine.

The good news is that, like Jesus, we are called into relationship with one another and especially with those on the margins, those who are experiencing oppression.

The good news is that because some of us have been lucked into an abundance of time, money, and other resources, we can share that abundance with others. A very real, tangible example of God’s love.

But, and here’s (maybe) the cliff throwing part

Preaching the good news to the poor asks those of us who are comfortable to get uncomfortable.

To give, and then give again.

To fight injustice and challenge the systems that oppress and keep people in a cycle of poverty.

To reconsider how we prioritize things in our lives.

To ignore the responses of those who roll their eyes or scoff at our giving, and our calling to something more.

I’m grateful for the quiet break in the day, but I’m ready to meet God’s children this afternoon and share with them the ABUNDANCE of good news (and the broccoli, and the cereal, and the mac ‘n cheese, and the diapers…).

© 2022 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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