January 21, 2010


The Spirit plays a huge role in the the story of Jesus' return to Nazareth. Luke tells us that Jesus is filled with the power of the Spirit as he returns from the desert. Isn't that something that we would all love to be; filled with the power of the Spirit. I don't know how many times I've been asked to pray for strength or patience or perseverance and what I ask for is an outpouring of the Spirit. It is only by the Spirit that Jesus is able to keep the schedule, teach with wisdom, and heal with impunity.

We get a glimpse into what it means to be filled with the power of the Spirit when Jesus unrolls the scroll of Isaiah and reads, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."

With the Spirit comes responsibility. We are filled up to overflowing so that we might accomplish the tasks to which God has called us. In Jesus' case he is filled up to preach a message that most people didn't want to hear. In my case, I'm filled up to live out the Collect for this week and proclaim the Good News. Why are you filled up? What is your calling? Is it to feed the hungry? Is it to love the unloved? Is it to comfort the afflicted? Is it to speak the hard truth?

In baptism we are each filled by the Spirit and as such we are each equipped to do certain work. Many of us, unfortunately, are doing work for which we have not been equipped; or worse yet, not doing any work at all. As St. Paul's enters a season of discerning our gifts, I invite you to pray for an outpouring of the Spirit and wisdom as to where best that energy should be used.

In the end, the goal remains the same; that the whole world might know the glory of his marvelous works. May we share in the ministry of proclaiming the Good News.

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