The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Luke 4:1-13
14 mins 47 secs
Views: 29
This week is the first week of Lent and our readings are amazing. There are themes of salvation, protection, trust, provision, gratitude, tithing, proclaiming, fasting, and victory over temptation. Our Gospel quotes our Old Testament reading, and our Epistle quotes our Psalm for the week. I encourage you to read through them before Sunday and let them soak into your heart and mind. And may this first week of Lent draw you closer to God; deeper in your understanding, and more aware of your dependence on His mercy and care.
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Luke 4:14-21
16 mins 22 secs
Views: 51
We do not like limits and laws. Our culture (and Disney) tells us that we can grow up to be and do whatever we want if we hold to our dreams. So we want all the good parts in the story we inhabit. We desire the highest positions, the best toys, the best spiritual gifts, the leading roles… but a roomful of Elsas is not how the story works; and a roomful of people jostling for the same gifts and position of leadership is not how the Body of Christ works. Instead, we are parts of a body, interdependent, distinct, and necessary. Likewise, our culture tells us that God’s law is out of date, restrictive, even hateful. But that is not how our scriptures this week describe the law. Instead it is a beautiful and glorious thing; perfect, reviving the soul, rejoicing the heart, and enlightening the eyes. It is in the hope of right application of the law, that the psalmist cries out those familiar words “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord my rock and my redeemer.” But even this law -this beautiful gift- is insufficient for us who are unwilling or unable to follow it. So, the Word of God made flesh is our salvation, and it is in Jesus, in whom that word, that law, and that promise is fulfilled… in our lives, in our church and in the world.
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Luke 4:21-30
14 mins 34 secs
Views: 70
This week, we continue on in Luke following Jesus' return to His hometown after a year away traveling and teaching his disciples. (Luke 4:21-30) At first, it seems that the people are pleased to hear from Jesus. Verse 22 tells us, “all spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips.” The amazement doesn’t last long though, this is the hometown crowd, and they have grown up with him. Can you just imagine the eyebrows lifting as they turn to each other and say, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?" Jesus, hearing their reaction, says to them, “Surely you will quote this proverb to me: Physician, heal yourself! Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum. I tell you the truth; no prophet is accepted in his hometown. I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed – only Naaman the Syrian.” Strong words for this Jewish, hometown, audience. These words made the people furious and they tried to take Jesus by force to the top of a hill nearby to throw him off, but He walked right through the crowd and went on his way. His time had not yet come. How do you see Jesus? Who is He to you? How do you react when convicted of your sin?