Teach me to listen, Lord.

Teach me to pray, Lord.

Teach me to learn, Lord.

Teach me to help others, Lord.

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Jesus went to Nazareth, where he had been raised. On the Sabbath he went to the synagogue as he normally did and stood up to read. The synagogue assistant gave him the scroll from the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me. He has sent me to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to liberate the oppressed, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.

He rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the synagogue assistant, and sat down. Every eye in the synagogue was fixed on him. He began to explain to them, “Today, this scripture has been fulfilled just as you heard it.”

Luke 4:16-21

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Have you ever had to deliver a hard message? Something you knew that someone didn’t want to hear?

Such was the case with Jesus that day as he gave his first sermon in his hometown of Nazareth, gathered around his parents, his uncles, his teachers and friends.

If we keep reading this story, we learn in the following verses that no one wanted to hear the good news that the Spirit of the Lord had sent Jesus to announce freedom for prisoners or sight for the blind or relief for those who suffered.

Why? It hit a little close to home. It meant that God’s kingdom would include everybody, especially those who were so easy to exclude.

But Jesus’ mission was to declare the good news anyway. No matter if his hometown applauded him or not.

And so is our ministry today. Who in your life needs to hear the good news that they are seen and loved by God? Who needs to hear God’s kingdom includes all? It’s our job to share. Period.

Elizabeth Evans Hagan

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Lord, teach me to be brave as I deliver your messages. If I don’t speak, who will? Lead me. Amen.

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God’s grace and peace offers us many opportunities to learn and serve.

As you go, be open to the Spirit!

Elizabeth Evans Hagan

Rev. Elizabeth Evans Hagan is an interim pastor serving churches in short-term positions in the Washington, DC area. She loves blogging over at Preacher on the Plaza, cheering on her alma mater, Duke, in basketball, and collecting airline miles with her husband Kevin. She is proud to have been the first pastor of Passportkids! in 2004.

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