Third Sunday After Epiphany 2019: The Gospel Passage – The importance of knowing who you are

Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.” (Luke 4:14-15)

Tested – when Jesus returned to Galilee he had been in the desert for the 40 days and nights where he had been tempted and tested. It is no wonder he was filled with the power of the Spirit, for it was that same Spirit that sustained him. Did you know that, beloved reader, that after being tested you are actually stronger? The refiner’s fire burns away the excess and what is left is leanness and dedication.

“When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. 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 favor.” And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” (Verses 15 – 21)

And you have been tempted and tested, having come through that time stronger, you can see more clearly your path and role in life. Now, Jesus’ divinity gave him leave to gather unto himself declaration and proclamation that we cannot and should profess and ascribe to. But we can declare that we are called by God to a certain path, and have gained awareness and wisdom.

This is actually a theme that is very relevant for me on the day I sat down to write this post. I had my job review today at the agency I started working at a bit more than a year ago. It is a different type of job role for me. I was used to heading up an agency. Now I am one of the office workers. And I am still trying to figure out what my role should be. I am unsure. I don’t know, maybe I have not been “tempted” and “tested” enough to know what the best approach is. And maybe that is why I am still unsure of my job role.

I contrast that with being a spiritual director and counselor. There I have been tested; and yes, there have been temptations of a sort. But thanks be to God, I feel that I have come through stronger and more certain of my role. I could not be going into my 13th year of writing posts on scripture passages, not to mention 15 years of being a spiritual director, without being sure of myself. (Has it really been that long? And yet it seems longer somehow.) I hope and pray that you, beloved reader, are sure and certain in your life. And that the Lord God has been using you in mighty ways! Selah!

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