From Nalani Cushing
In whom or what do I trust? What do I hope for? My truest answer to these questions usually points me to a messy mix of “hopes” and “saviors” that don’t offer life and can’t save me or our broken world. Today’s readings offer better answers, as they make statements about God who intervenes to rescue his people.
Psalm 12 paints a picture of a world where evil seems to be winning. In the midst of what seems irreparable and hopeless, God promises to intervene: “Because the poor are plundered, because the needy groan, I will now arise,” says the Lord;“I will place him in the safety for which he longs” (Psalm 12:5). God is faithful and will accomplish his words (vs 6).
We see God’s intervention throughout history, in the stories of the Bible and of our lives, and we see it in the largest, best way in Jesus. Luke 4 makes big statements about Jesus’ identity, mission, and authority. In this passage, we see Jesus empowered by the Spirit, traveling around, teaching in the synagogues, and performing miracles with amazing power and authority. Jesus is compassionate, and has mercy on the crowds of sick and suffering people he encounters. He is not just a merciful, miraculous healer, though. This passage emphasizes that Jesus is the promised Savior, God-become-human, there to intervene on behalf of all people. Reading from the prophet Isaiah, Jesus claims about himself, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor. (Luke 4:18 -19)”. The demons cry out to Jesus, recognizing that he is “the Holy One of God”, and “the Son of God” (vs. 34 and 41).
We have much to hope in, and I want to remember this and trust this. In the midst of so much sin and pain and brokenness, the kingdom has come. God is making everything new. Our loving, powerful, merciful God has come.
I grew up in MA and still anticipate snow days with fervor. I think deeply about things. I love being with people and being adventurous.