Sat, 2 February 2019
(Jer.1:4-5,17-19; Ps.71:1-6,15,17; 1Cor.12:31-13:13; Lk.4:21-30)
“I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord.”
When God calls Jeremiah to prophesy “against Judah’s kings and princes, against its priests and people,” He tells him to “gird [his] loins” and commands: “Be not crushed on their account.” For though his people “will fight against” him, they shall “not prevail over” him. The Lord makes Jeremiah “a fruitful city, a pillar of iron, a wall of brass” able to stand against attacks of any in “the whole land”; He preserves His prophet’s life despite any danger or threat.
In our gospel Jesus is likewise protected by God from any harm His people would inflict upon Him. Here in the synagogue of Nazareth, Jesus is called to prophesy against the faithlessness of the people; and though before He spoke His harsh word of truth they had “all spoke[n] highly of Him,” now “filled with fury” they drive Him “out of the town, and lead Him to the brow of the hill… to hurl Him down headlong.” But the deliverance promised Jeremiah and sung of so beautifully by our psalmist is with the Lord’s only Son as it had been with His prophet, and “Jesus passed through the midst of them and went away.” Though they would not accept the deliverance He brings, He is delivered from them.
“O my God, [you] rescue me from the hand of the wicked”; you indeed are “my rock of refuge, a stronghold to give me safety.” O Lord, “let me never be put to shame,” but “in your justice rescue me, and deliver me.” For you are “my rock and my fortress,” “my hope” who never fails to save. May I walk through all the difficulties of this world, all the darkness of sin and temptation and suffering, with you at my side, therefore with nothing to fear. Make me strong as your prophet, as your Son, for my life is in your Hand.
Brothers and sisters, soon all persecution will pass away with all the imperfect trappings of this desolate earth, and only God’s love will remain. Let us be as He who “endures all things”; let us be of love. And nothing of this world shall touch us as we pass through its midst, shielded by the Word of God, guarded by His eminent love.
Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt.
Music: "Is This Your World?" from Remove the Mask of Lies, second album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.
O LORD, you rescue us from the hand of the wicked;
from our mother’s womb you are our stronghold.
YHWH, it is you who deliver us from all harm, from the fury of this world, from the anger of those unable to bear your truth. In chastising us you would show us the greatest love; but who is of love as are you, and so who is able to rejoice in your truth?
Few there are, O LORD, who desire to know their sins that they might turn from them and be saved. Few there are who trust in you from birth even unto death – who can place his whole life in your hands? Yet if we do not take refuge in you alone, we shall surely die. If we open not our hearts to your love, to your Word of truth that would redeem our souls, we will perish in our sin.
The hardened heart of man would hurl your Son to the ground from the hill He builds His town upon. Break our pride, LORD, that we might be saved. Open our hearts to your Chosen One, to the love He brings to us, that we might see you face to face.