“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19)
This week we turn to the ministry of Jesus. It reminds us that the point of God coming in Christ at Christmas was not just to proclaim, “Look. Here I am!” It was to bring about the transformation of the world.
This week a friend of mine on Facebook, Tim Larson who is a pastor in the Detroit area, posted this poem by the great Howard Thurman:
When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and the princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among brothers,
To make music in the heart.”
Howard Thurman, “The Work of Christmas,” 1985.
What starts at Christmas with the coming of Jesus is the ongoing work of building the kingdom of God – working to bring life, especially the weakest among us. We are now the body of Christ and the same Spirit is offered to us, even promised to us in baptism. What Jesus begins, is ours to continue.