We are fond, rightfully so, of referring to the message of Jesus, the gospel, as “good news.” That is indeed what the Old English word god-spell means. And it is good news that God’s grace is available to us in all times and places in our lives. What we learned from reading that Jesus was literally run out of Nazareth on a rail, is that the “good news” is not good news for everyone – least of all those who feel compelled to hold onto wealth, privilege and power. That was true in the 1st century, and it is true now. The word of Isaiah: “…God has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of God’s favor…” should truly be read as “God has sent us to bring good news to the oppressed..” and liberty, and binding-up, and release, and healing.
The people of Nazareth were upset because the day of Jubilee was not being proclaimed for them, but rather for the left-outs, and the less-thans. We need to be about bringing that radical message of hope and love in our time. Maybe, like Jesus, we could end up getting run out of town on a rail. But this is what is means to be the church. Think about it.