‘Listening for Wisdom' - from the keyboard of Rev Wendy Prior, Staff Chaplain, Synod of SA
Reflection of the Week - 21 January 2020
Posted in Faith
As we celebrate Australia Day later this week we celebrate all the great opportunities afforded to us in our country: our mateship, BBQ's and long summer afternoons together, our wide open spaces, our beautiful beaches, and our larrikin love of having a good time.
But we also remember that this week honours a terrible time in our history for indigenous people; a time where their land was stripped from them and their culture robbed. While many will celebrate the great parts of Australia on Australia Day, may we also remember that this was not a day of triumph only, but a day of great cost for indigenous Australians.
16Jesus went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. 17The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
18"The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to release the oppressed,
19to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour."
20Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of Currently downloading in the synagogue were fastened on him, 21and he began by saying to them, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."
Jesus approached the Sabbath differently in this instance to how we often think of Sabbath. We like to consider it as a day for personal R&R, but in this instance, Jesus speaks of a greater rest – that which comes from putting things to right and fulfilling our vocation to serve.
Here Jesus uses phrasing familiar to the religious people of the time, but puts it in the new context of his personal story, rather than written rhetoric as some may have come to receive it.
He is both a prophet and proponent of grace in this instance; he fulfils the imperative of the Law, but urges us to pursue justice also. As part of entering into his rest, we also are called to enter into his work.
Jesus was sent to preach good news and proclaim freedom to the poor – those who wake up to difficulties everyday of their lives. If you yourself were really poor, what would good news look like to you?
What does this good news look like for Australians in this week of juxtaposed celebration and sorrow?
Consider how you can bring this good news to others.
Thank you Jesus that we are loved by you, that you have first shared the good news with us.
Help us to rest assured in this and be motivated by your grace so that we may more compassionately seek to serve the poor and proclaim freedom to those who are bound – by poverty, by circumstance, by themselves.
Let us love you and love others, shining your light to uncover injustice and walk humbly with God in his mission to act justly and love mercy.
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