“Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” That must have sounded like great news. The scripture was coming true. Surely that meant the Messiah was coming. The people would be free again!

Jesus had just read the words from Isaiah about the deep needs in people’s lives being fulfilled. We react the same way today when we hear about new progress on coronavirus vaccines or about businesses being reopened and people going back to work. It’s exciting, but we are also skeptical.

But what about today? How could those scriptures be fulfilled in today’s crises? Because of unemployment, food banks are being overwhelmed by hungry people. Cars line up for miles to get food. And we’re told that the majority of the people who come have never been to a food bank before. I look at scenes of food banks on television and think that ordinary people are fulfilling the scripture about feeding the hungry. It’s not some big miraculous event, like Jesus feeding the five thousand. It’s about volunteers and members of the National Guard passing out food so children can eat. It’s about people like you and me donating food so the food banks can feed people. Scripture can be fulfilled in ordinary ways in our lives.

Of course there are others who don’t see the need to help. So fulfillment of the scripture means we have to work for justice and public concern for peoples who are poor, hungry, and oppressed. Jesus mentioned freeing the oppressed as well as feeding the hungry. We need to do both. We need to meet immediate personal needs and, at the same time, work to change the structures in our society that create those needs. Then the oppressed can truly go free.

Lord, grant me the eyes of faith to see ways I can fulfill the scriptures today—and the energy to do what is needed for that fulfillment. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Luke 4:21-30

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Lectionary Week
January 24–30, 2022
Scripture Overview

The readings from the Hebrew scriptures share a common theme of calling. Jeremiah is called at a young age to be a prophet. God knew and set apart Jeremiah even in the womb. The psalmist also expresses confidence in God’s call, because God knew him even before he was born. In the same way, God knows each one of us and has a plan for our lives that is not an afterthought. In this First Corinthians passage (often read at weddings), Paul speaks of love. But this love is not infatuation and is not based on emotion. It is intentional, strong, gritty, and unselfish. In Luke we see that many struggle with the fact that Jesus’ calling is also to serve the marginalized. Jesus reveals that God has a missional heart.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Jeremiah 1:4-10. What is God calling you to do? How does your passion intersect with the world’s needs?
Read Psalm 71:1-6. God promises not to make our lives easy or perfectly safe but to be with us when we face challenges. In a world that seems increasingly violent, how do you find assurance of God’s continuous presence?
Read 1 Corinthians 13. God calls us to a vocation of love. How can you be more loving in your daily work or activities?
Read Luke 4:21-30. How do you see God’s call in those you know best? How can you look to minister to the outsider and the oppressed?

Respond by posting a prayer.

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