This Sunday we will hear about Jesus going to the synagogue in his hometown for services which in his day mostly consisted of hearing the Torah (the Law) and the Prophets and then a sermon on the readings. This is still what the first half of our services look like today in the Episcopal & Lutheran Churches.
Jesus reads from the prophet Isaiah (chapter 61): “The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor…” When we read this in church we often think these words apply only to Jesus since he was God’s anointed. Jesus’ title “Christ” means “Anointed One” in Greek after all. Since he was God’s Anointed One it must be just his mission to be the good news, right?
Two weeks ago, on the first Sunday after the Epiphany, we renewed our baptismal covenant. In baptism, we become members of Jesus’ mission. When we are baptized, we were anointed with oil as a sign of God anointing us with the Holy Spirit just like Jesus. Since we share in Jesus’ anointing, we also share in his mission. That mission is described in Jesus’ reading from Isaiah. We too are called by God to bring good news to the oppressed, bind up broken hearts, free captives, and proclaim the Lord’s favor, and be the good news in a million other ways, large and small. We are called to be just like Jesus.
How will you be the good news this week? How will you be just like Jesus?