Anglican Lutheran Lenten Reflections

Anglican Lutheran Lenten Reflections

People with a Mission (Luke 4:18–19)

Daily Lenten Reflection - Sunday, 2 April 2017

Week 6: Freed to Serve—Diakonia 

Week 6, Day 1

“The Second Collect, for Peace, Morning Prayer,” The Book of Common Prayer 

O God, who art the author of peace and lover of concord, in knowledge of whom standeth our eternal life, whose service is perfect freedom: Defend us, thy humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in thy defence, may not fear the power of any adversaries; through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

People with a Mission (Luke 4:18–19)

Mary Lewis, Anglican, Australia

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.”

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me.” So Jesus opens the scroll from Isaiah 61 and reads a familiar passage to the gathering in the synagogue—a message announcing the time of God’s grace and celebrating God’s judgment and the destruction of their enemies. But Jesus stops; he interrupts the reading; Jesus reads the announcement of the year of the Lord’s favor and sits down. All attention is on him as he begins, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing” (Lk 4:21). Jesus’ arrival heralds an extended time of God’s grace. The fulfillment—the judgment and restoration of Zion—will come, but not yet. In this day of grace Jesus has come to serve—to seek and to save the lost and set free the imprisoned and oppressed. The conquering Messiah waits.

When we were working in Nepal as medical missionaries, we received help to enable us to concentrate on our mission. What freedom for us to come home to clean rooms, hot food and pressed clothes! What grace for us, especially when the days at the clinic and classroom had been tiring, frustrating and difficult to understand. We thanked God for the help we received to do other things—to teach, to work in the clinic, to catch up with students, to share the Good News of Jesus.

We live in the “year of the Lord’s favor—God’s grace.” Ourselves being freed and anointed by the Good News, we are sent out with the good news that God offers freedom and healing to the world through the Lord Jesus. We are the people of this day—this day of grace and healing. The call is urgent—when might the day end? We are God’s people of mission—God’s servants to the world. Don’t just stand on the doorstep; because of Jesus you are not bound or trapped anymore. Step out in the freedom of the Holy Spirit and serve others so that they also may taste freedom.

“On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the Anglican-Lutheran International Coordinating Committee has compiled a collection of Lenten reflections to commemorate the anniversary. The text can be used by small groups or individual, as a Lenten reading or as a resource for the weeks between Easter and Trinity Sunday. We are sharing these reflections daily during Lent, hoping that our common experience of God’s grace may draw our two families of churches closer together in this extraordinary year, and be used beyond 2017 and actually at any time.”