Thursday, 29 November 2012

Thursday - worship is central

Prayer:  Holy God,  we give You thanks and praise for this day.   We thank You that we can spend this quiet time in prayer and learning more about You.   Focus our thoughts this day on Your most Holy Word so that we can learn and discern Your Word.   Help us as we go throughout our day to be the bearers of the Word of God to all.  This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Read St Luke  4:  14- 21

Jesus comes out of the time of trial in the desert and returns to Galilee where he begins teaching in the synagogue.  Interesting when Jesus came out of the time of trial,  he didn't head into the wilderness for a time of recovery with  meditation and peace.    What does Jesus do instead?

Jesus  travels to Nazareth and on the Sabbath day,  heads to the synagogue.   Jesus heads to the synagogue to worship.    (Hummm!  This is a wonderful example for all ministers and elders and lay leaders to remember that worship is the most imporant way to find peace and love after a tough portion of ministry!)   A town son returns home.    The Rabbi hands the scriptures to Jesus to read.  Everyone must have been so pleased to have Jesus back in Nazareth.  They all knew Jesus and knew his understanding of the scriptures was deep and firmly fixed in his heart.

The scroll that is handed to Jesus is from the Prophet Isaiah.   Isaiah 61: 1- 2.    
Yet something happens when Jesus finishes reading.     The people are waiting for Jesus to comment on the scriptures. Not just waiting and getting comfortable but their eyes were fixed upon Jesus,  waiting for his great teachings about the scriptures.  

 And indeed Jesus does comment on the scriptures,  but not in the way that the people expected.   Jesus sits down (like all good Rabbi’s  do when they are about to teach) and says, “ Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”    Then Jesus continues commenting on the Scriptures.   

Prayer:    Help me,  O Lord,  to keep guard over my lips.  Save me from words that hurt;  from gossip and slander and lies.  Let me speak only to encourage and cheer and to keep people on their feet so that all my words may minister grace, to Your honour and glory.   This I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen. (“Prayers for all Occasions”  Forward Movement Press,  1964).

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