January 21, 2001

Luke 4:14-21

Jesus returned to Galilee powerful in the Spirit. News that he was back spread through the countryside. He taught in their meeting places to everyone' acclaim and pleasure.

He 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 recovers 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."

<The Message>


1. The image of the Year of Jubilee is one which runs from first to last within our scriptures. From Genesis one where GOD creates the differences between us and calls it being made in GOD's image and "very good" through to a new heaven and a new earth in John's Revelation. It runs through Leviticus and Isaiah and Paul and Jesus. Wherever an appreciation for the differences within creation takes place we are in the midst of a Year of Jubilee experience. This appreciation causes us to reset our expectation levels and to have eyes that can see "very good" in the midst of that which is not very good.

2. The call to Jubilee calls for a radical reorientation of our economic and communal lives. This is a huge call. Impossibly huge. We all know all too well how many devils live in the multitudinous details of calling for a Year of Jubilee when everything is set back to creation and we can start again. We will do just about anything to avoid having to face up to working on Jubilee issues.

3. The Year of Jubilee needs to start with a moment here on the first Day of a Year of Jubilee. If we can't handle the whole year, we can handle starting a Day of Jubilee. Today, says Jesus, this scripture is coming true -- like it or not. Today, says you and me and other followers of Jesus, this scriptural Jubilee is coming true -- like it or not. So there is the challenge. Will we choose to be Jubileers before the Jubilee is recognized? Will we choose to avoid the pitfalls of living a Jubilee life in the midst of a non-Jubilee world? What's it to be?

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