Embrace Christ’s Mission
By David Brock, presiding evangelist
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” —Luke 4:18–21 NRSV
Members and friends of Community of Christ know that no other scripture passage is more central to our understanding of discipleship. Jesus stands in the synagogue to read a passage from Isaiah and then declares, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” Or, as The Message says it, “You’ve just heard Scripture make history. It came true just now in this place.”
As the body of Christ, we understand Jesus’ mission to be ours: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon us, because he has anointed us to bring good news to the poor. He has sent us to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind.” We are to let the oppressed go free. We are to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
In sometimes frazzled or forlorn congregations, we wonder if we truly are the body of Christ. We question whether our weak and wounded body is healthy enough to share good news or proclaim release to anyone! The answer is, “Yes, we are healthy enough because God’s Spirit is on and in us!”
God invites each of us to stand and speak in our congregations this Sunday! The message to declare, whether we are preaching or not, is “Scripture has just made history. Right here in this place, in this building, in this community of Christians. The words of the prophet have just come true.”
Speak those truths out loud. Be specific! Name names! Declare God’s presence right here, right now!
- Carl just got a job teaching second grade and is blessing 23 kids every day as he walks into their lives in the classroom.
- Jeanine left the rehabilitation center Thursday and is starting a job Monday. She’ll be back next Sunday and wants to thank us for our love, prayers, and care packages.
- The Episcopal Church across town held Family Kitchen on Friday and five volunteers from our congregation cooked, served, sat down, visited with “guests,” and then cleaned up.
- Justin and Karen ask for our prayers. They can’t say more now, but they need God’s help and our quiet, prayerful support.
“This is God’s year to act.” God is acting in you and your congregation. Stop. Look. Listen…then, stand and speak that truth!
Prayer for Peace
Your Spirit is upon us, Lord. We see that Jesus declared and embraced his mission. We, too, have declared our mission in five initiatives. We embrace them in remembrance of him, and as we share his peace.
Spiritual Practice: Abolish Poverty, End Suffering
Read and reflect on John 21:15–17 as a meditation. Direct your mind to places where people have no homes. Think of the wars and natural disasters that destroy the homes of refugees. Be aware of the hungry and homeless who wander the streets or live in shelters. Let the images fill your mind. Pray for those who suffer. Imagine Christ tending those sheep. Think of ways you might end their suffering as part of your mission. Throughout the day, carry in your mind the voice of Christ saying: “Feed my lambs…tend my sheep…feed my sheep.”
Today, God, I will do something to bring a Mission Initiative closer to fulfillment.