He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. Luke 4:16
The Gospel reading for Sunday is Luke 4: 14-21. Jesus has come back to his hometown. He’s in the synagogue and is asked to be the guest speaker. He reads from the prophet Isaiah then makes a brief statement about his own purpose in life. He will fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah. He is the one anointed with the spirit to bring good news to the poor, release to the captives, freedom to the chained.
There we have our purpose as a congregation. We are Jesus’ troops, continuing his mission, carrying out his plan. On Sunday we will worship and then do a little planning of our own as we meet for our semiannual meeting.
In a note to some of our leaders who are preparing for the meeting I included a word about worship attendance and, further, about attendance in the worship room during the hour of worship. This lesson from Luke 4 is a good backdrop for asking that we attend as often as we can, and that when we are in the building we are in the worship room with everyone else.
There is a certain humility, reverence and respect for the rest of the community that is evident when we try to arrive more-or-less on time and sit quietly. We put our bodies and our minds in a position ready to learn, and to model for others, love of God and love of neighbor. I fully appreciate that this is not always possible, and I am aware of all the obligations and activities we juggle.
Anyway, here’s what I wrote earlier:
I would like us to try to avoid office work (kitchen and coffee hour work, Sunday school prep or anything else for that matter) while the service is going on. The hour of worship should be our community’s priority activity every week. I know that we may be tempted to steal time from church to get other important things done, but we need that hour together every week as a community of faith. Nearly everything else can wait one hour until the service is over or can be done Saturday or in another hour on another day of the week.