Fulfilment

Jesus began to say to them, ‘Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’ 
 
Last week we heard Jesus in Luke’s Gospel proclaim that in his presence and teaching a new way of being in the world was arriving where bonds of oppression would be broken, the blind see and the captives would be set free. While the audience who heard Jesus make these declarations were amazed, in this week’s reading from Luke (Luke 4.21-30) there is a shift to a much more hostile crowd. The hostility begins when Jesus tells them that this liberation is not for a future time, but rather God’s kingdom is being revealed in the here and now. The change that Jesus brings is threatening, risking all that offers security and maintains the familiar… So threatening in fact, that the crowd attempts to kill Jesus.
 
Sometimes it is the religiously committed who are most resistant to change and to the new thing the Spirit is doing. In this scene from Luke, those angered by Jesus probably felt they were protecting the divine interest. Both then and now it is easy to create a shrine of faith and strive to defend it, all the while missing the revolution of love Jesus is bringing to fulfilment in the present moment.
 
The Spirit is always unfolding a new narrative, and it is one that frequently “comforts the disturbed and disturbs the comfortable”. The good news is that this Jesus whom the crowd seeks to kill does not turn upon them with hostility but walks gently away until the day he will face violence again and pray, “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.” Even those opposed to the fulfilment of the liberating promise of God, are gathered up in grace.
 
May we have eyes to see where the kingdom is being fulfilled in this present moment, and the courage to live lives of love and freedom.
 
Grace and peace,
Sue+

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