January 25, 2004
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Luke 4:14-21

    [4] Jesus returned to Galilee powerful in the Spirit. News that he was back spread through the countryside. [15] He taught in their meeting places to everyone's acclaim and pleasure.

    [16] 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, [17] he was handed the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll, he found the place where it was written,

     [18] 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
        recovery of sight to the blind,
    To set the burdened and battered free,
        [19] to announce, "This is God's year to act!"

    [20] He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the assistant, and sat down. Every eye in the place was on him, intent. [21] Then he started in, "You've just heard Scripture make history. It came true just now in this place."

[The Message]


1. What would it be like to have us all teach in someone else's meeting space? We are so protective of our accreted ways that we have a hard time going somewhere else or having others come to us. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have an expression of Christian Unity by not just having pulpit exchanges, but a welcoming of another tradition to come and intentionally teach us about another way that would have the authority of our own way? Wouldn't it be even more wonderful to extend that beyond one's own generalized faith community?

2. When we were able to hear one another, there will be some common elements - revelatory authority, special attention to those left behind, new life and vision/meaning for those in a wide variety of prisons, assurance that there is no time to waste for those who are abused - their freedom needs to begin immediately.

We will hear about Allah, Yahweh, Buddha, and more expressing this in other exciting ways and we will be bound together in ministry where we cannot yet be bound together in foundational perspectives.

3. History is always becoming real in this place and in this time. There is no objective history, only those experiences which we repeat or build upon and beyond.

What would it be like to re-read this as, "You've just heard my life make history. It came true just now, in your presence." Can you sense the renewal of purpose in this way of looking at your life? If so, go ahead and act on it for every eye is waiting to see what you will do when you come to your self.