Saturday, January 10, 2015

of love, justice, favor, and delight

   Beloved, let us love one another.
Convent Puppy with Mama
Delmas, Haiti

In today's Eucharistic Lectionary, we read 1 John 4:11-19

Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us...We love because he first loved us.

and Luke 4:14-22

He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: 
‘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 favour.’ 

Tomorrow we'll be hearing about the Baptism of our Lord, in which Jesus hears God say, "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased."

Imagine my delight, then, when I found the following excerpt of a sermon to read at the Noon Office today.  I think it's worth our considering this week.

So when Jesus in today’s text, filled with the Holy Spirit, says that he has been sent by God to announce Good News to the poor, release to the captives, freedom for the oppressed, and to proclaim the year of God’s favor—he is saying many things, but I think one of the main things he is proclaiming is that the oppressed, the captive, the poor, the blind, have God’s favor.  That when God looks at them God is captivated, and delighted – before they are successful, before they get their act together, before they figure out how to behave politely.  It is that love and delight in human beings that is the basis for the justice that God brings about...
I’d invite you to consider two things this week.  First, notice where you yourself feel in need of God’s healing.  Allow yourself to imagine that God delights in you.  You have God’s favor.  The word meaning “God’s favor” only appears five times in the New Testament – once in today’s text, where Jesus proclaims that it is the year of God’s favor.  It also appears in one of Paul’s letters to the Corinthians, where he says that NOW is the time of God’s favor, NOW is the time of God’s healing.  In your personal prayer or meditation this week, I invite you to be open to experiencing God’s delight in your being, God’s intimate awareness and acceptance of who you are.
Next, I invite you to go out of your way to see others with this same delight.  Try it with the people you know best (sometimes that’s the hardest) and also try to really see someone totally outside your normal comfort zone – someone at the margins, wherever that may be.  Try to carve out just a little bit of time to observe someone with the intention of delight.  This might take a little practice, but we can do it.  The foundation of experiencing the other with delight is experiencing God’s delight in you first.  Scripture says that “we love because God first loved us.” 
You may read the whole sermon here:

A Sermon Shared with the People of St. Matthew’s, St. Paul, October 20, 2013
Luke 4:14-21
Lisa Wiens-Heinsohn

No comments:

Post a Comment