Sat, 26 January 2019
(Neh.8:2-4a,5-6,8-10; Ps.19:8-10,15; 1Cor.12:12-30; Lk.1:1-4,4:14-21)
“He opened the scroll so that all the people might see it.”
These words are spoken of Ezra the scribe who “brought the law before the assembly” of all Israel as he stood above them preparing to read the word of God, but it surely more distinctly refers to Jesus the Christ, the Incarnate Word of God, who reveals Himself to the souls in the Nazareth synagogue today. As “Ezra read plainly from the book of the law of God, interpreting it so that all might understand,” so the Word is perfectly read and interpreted for us in the Person of Jesus Christ.
Jesus came “into the synagogue on the sabbath day. He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the passage” in Isaiah which speaks of Him: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me…” Thus is “fulfilled in [the people’s] hearing” the salvation promised from all time; the presence of the Word is with us in flesh and bone.
Brothers and sisters, the eyes of all are filled with vision of His light, of His glorious being in our midst; all ears are filled with the sound of His voice, like gently rolling thunder soothing our hearts. And so we see. And so we hear. And so His Church has eyes and ears of the Lord, for we become “Christ’s body and individually parts of it.” Our feet now walk with Christ and our hands serve Him, and all for the blessing and honor and upbuilding of the whole. If I write this to you now and you hear, do I write for myself alone? Is it even I who write at all? Are not all things in the Body in the Lord, taking strength from Him and nourishing in turn all its parts? What are we apart from the Body – we could not stand alone! Does the Lord not reveal these things to us in the opening of Scripture before our eyes? Is He not whole and one with all?
In our first reading all wept at the words come from the mouth of Ezra, and all celebrated together this day of feasting. All stood as one when the book was raised, and all were prostrate as the name of the Lord was praised. The Body is one, as St. Paul tells us, and none go off on their own: “If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy.”
Brothers and sisters, “the ordinances of the Lord are true, and all of them just.” Let us live as one in the WORD of the Lord, “the words of [our] mouth and the thoughts of [our] heart find[ing] favor before” our God, that the world might see the truth and the light of Christ alive in His Body.
Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt.
Music: "Body of Christ" from The Whole Whale, eighth album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.
O LORD, your Spirit be upon us
to accomplish your will in Jesus’ Name.
YHWH, your Law is perfect and is perfectly revealed in the presence of your Son. He it is who fulfills in our hearing, in our sight, the glory of your Word. Here is the Word made flesh for us to taste, and so to become as His Body.
High above us Jesus stands to shine the light of your wisdom upon all souls. By His presence in our assembly all eyes are enlightened, for by Him your command is made clear. And what gifts are thus given to your Church, O LORD, by the Spirit upon us now.
How shall our eyes take in the vision you share with us in Him? How shall we hear of the joy He proclaims? How shall we come out of our prisons and embrace the grace of His message, dear LORD, we who have dwelt so far from your will?
Refresh our souls this day, dear God, with the flesh and blood of your Son. Let us become one with Him and declare your truth to the world.