The Acceptable Year of the Lord
Today we have, from Luke’s gospel, one of my favourite Bible readings. The picture is of Jesus reading the scroll of the prophet Isaiah: the spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor… to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. Then, sitting down with all eyes fixed on him. So, there must have been something arresting about the way he read those words. The congregation were expecting a sermon, but certainly not what came next, when Jesus said: Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing. I wonder if they, or we, really understood the implications of what he said?
Carry on reading to verse 30. It seems that it took a little while for the significance of what Jesus said to sink in. The message that the liberating prophecies of Isaiah were now coming true was initially well received; every Jew had been waiting and hoping for that. But when it dawned upon them that he was claiming to be the promised Messiah, the mood changed. We might today imagine them saying “who does he think he is? This is just Joseph’s son; he is no better than us!” Luke goes on to say that all in the synagogue were furious and threw him out.
This is an important passage, as it is one of the few occasions when Jesus announces publicly who he really is; the greatest of the prophets who will bring God’s kingdom down to earth and change our priorities for ever. His own people found this too much to swallow and rejected him. What about us? Do we take Jesus’s claims seriously? Because he is not just telling nice stories or healing people here. He is telling us he will turn our world upside down, that all those we thought were least important are actually the most important. That acceptable year of the Lord, when we can be changed forever and accept a new set of priorities in our life, is now, not in some far future. Are we prepared for that?
Steve Chandler - Reader
Brain Tumour Support is a charity based in Thornbury and is uniquely dedicated to providing support for anyone affected by any type of brain tumour, at any point from diagnosis and for as long as support is needed.
We are here not just for the patients themselves, but also families, carers and loved ones who are dealing day to day with the impact of a brain tumour. We provide specialist, tailored services through one-to-one and group support, as well as online and telephone support and specialist counselling.
The origins of the charity lie in one family’s own devastating experience of a brain tumour diagnosis. A tough journey but one which resulted in a pioneering support service which has developed over the course of fifteen years through the hard work of its team and the dedication of supporters and fundraisers. The charity now also works in partnership with Macmillan which has enabled the support services to further expand.
Moving forward we determine more than ever to make real our vision that no-one feels alone in their experience of coping with a brain tumour.
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