Biblical Text: Luke 4:16-30
Full Draft of Sermon
Following the season of Epiphany texts we’ve been looking at the ways that God reveals himself. We’ve structured it around what I’ve asserted is the question of the age: How do we see/meet God? Our culture and even many of our churches have attempted to claim or put forward an unmediated experience of God. And if we don’t have that direct access, then we turn away or search in another spot. The biggest problem with that is that God has promised to work, to be present, through means. The grace of God comes to us through the means of grace. The last couple of weeks were baptism and the Lord’s supper. This week was first confession and absolution. Those are the proclaimed word reduced down to their essence. Today, in your hearing, is the year of the Lord’s favor. The eternal Jubilee has been proclaimed by Jesus and the church has been proclaiming that release ever since.
The second slowly dawning epiphany that this should point toward is the false spirit nature of any movement or group that says you don’t need a church or a congregation. Because the church is the focus of those means. Where ever two or three are gathered, or as the text for this sermon says, it was Jesus’ custom to go to church on the sabbath. That is an anachronistic claim, the real word is synagogue, but it stands as the text shows the basic structure of that OT service. The synagogue was brought together around the word – written and proclaimed. The OT sacramental word was found in the temple. We are the inheritors of Word and Sacrament. God has always primarily worked through Word and Sacrament. It has always been grace, through means. Those means following Christ are found in what we call a church.