THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD
“And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up; and he went to the synagogue, as his custom was, on the sabbath day. And he stood up to read; and there was given to him the book of the prophet Isaiah. He opened the book and found the place where it was written, ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable/favorable year of the Lord.’ And he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, ‘Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’” (Lk 4: 16-21)
Having read aloud to us “this scripture,” this prophecy from chapter 61 of Isaiah, Jesus tells us that “today” it has been fulfilled “in our hearing.” He is the One sent to “preach good news to the poor,” and to “proclaim release to the captives,” and to “proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” Heeding the voice of Christ in my life means looking upon any given “year” as a “favorable” one; It means opening up to His “good news” and His freedom, which liberates me from bondage to “other” voices that are “bad news.”
This morning let me open up to the Spirit of the Lord, Who strengthens me and encourages me, through the light and lightness of His word. Rather than immersing myself in “bad news,” available to me in various forms, whether from external voices in the media, or internal, merely-human fears, let me immerse myself at least a bit in God’s word, which brings new “sight to the blind” and new freedom to “those who are oppressed,” as we often are when engrossed in merely-human voices. “For You are a good God and You love mankind, and to You we ascribe glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.” Amen!