Luke 4:21-30 (NRSV)
Verse 21Then he began to say to them, "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing." Verse 22All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, "Is not this Joseph's son?" Verse 23He said to them, "Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, 'Doctor, cure yourself!' And you will say, 'Do here also in your hometown the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.'" Verse 24And he said, "Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet's hometown. Verse 25But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land; Verse 26yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. Verse 27There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian." Verse 28When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. Verse 29They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff. Verse 30But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way.
One thing this pandemic has done is to expose or shake our sense of church privilege or Christian entitlement to the core. What do we do when people no longer walk through our doors in the same way? What if Jesus is calling us out? Catching us when in our self-content we think to ourselves, “Doctor cure yourself!”—as if joining the people of Nazareth saying, “Show us what you got Jesus! How come you can’t bring some successes here, do here what you did for those other folks?” But what if in the end it’s not about us? What if, rather it’s about good news to the poor, release to the captives, sight to the blind, and the oppressed going free, about God’s way of restoring justice and righteousness. What if it’s not about our worship spaces or our privileged place in our communities, but our ministry done in Jesus’ name. Are we willing to follow Jesus out into the world, risks and all?
Jesus, Savior, we pray for this world. Help us to see this world differently. May we not only see its brokenness but help us to see you in our midst, bringing life and light to our darkness. Give us eyes to see, ears to hear, and voices to proclaim. Through Christ our Light, Amen.