"Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, 'Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.'" [Luke 4.20-21]
A little over six years ago my wife and I had our third child, Nico. Although Nico, was at the time and still is, a lovely little guy, the events leading to his birth were anything but lovely. I'll never forget being asleep in bed and waking up to Michelle getting up to use the bathroom, me asking if everything was ok and her reassuring me things were fine and that it was just a bathroom stop. Two minutes later, I'm woken up from my sleep by her urgent insistence that the time had come and she probably needed to get to the hospital. Half-dazed I jumped from the bed to get our things in order. Another two minutes go by, she emerges from the bathroom to tell me Nico was arriving now, then revealing his crowning head.
I share that story because something like this is going on in the temple where Jesus reads the scroll of Isaiah and declares not only the promise of God's kingdom breakthrough, but it's inbreaking right there, right now, in their midst. The time had come! The kingdom reality was being birthed into existence through his presence, and the question to them was, how will you respond?
As Luke's gospel reveals, these word of Jesus carried implications, they moved from simply being things Jesus proclaimed to be something he demonstrated. So the people, bewildered and disoriented, by the news that the hope they had anticipated had indeed arrived, must now make a decision, to engage or not to engage? To welcome the kingdom of God's arrival into their own heart and community or to pretend that Jesus is just another guy trying to make a name for himself? The people must make a choice. We all must make a choice.
Join us this Sunday as we explore this decision by looking at the way Jesus ushers in the kingdom of God, it's implications for life, and how we can begin to say yes to its arrival.