Monday, March 8, 2010

Christ for Mercy...Day 20

"He has annointed me to proclaim liberty to the captives" Luke 4:18-19
by Rev. Gary Tillman, St. John Lutheran, Ashippun, Wis
This week's theme is preaching deliverance to the captives. Isaiah said that the Messiah would come come and set people free (61:1-2). The Messiah would come and show mercy, love and compassion by restoring everything that was wrong and broken in a sinful world. Isaiah's words were beautiful and comforting to a people living captive in less than ideal circumstances.
Our verse today is spoken by Jesus as he begins his public ministry. Jesus wanted the people to know that he was the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy. Sin had taken hold of all creation, and Satan was not going to give it back without a fight. The perfect world God made was taintedby sin and held captive by the devil. Jesus came to set it all free by crushing the head of the serpent.
These words have a special meaning for you, too. What is wrong and broken in the your world? What is keeping you frozen or stuck that prevents you from seeing and living in hte joy in the faith?
Are you concerned about your health, or the healt of a loved one? Are your finances locking you up in a vault of fear? Are you unsure of your job or marriage? Are your children growing up and soon moving off to college? Jesus wants to set you free from that fear that keeps you captive.
When I was growing up, my cousins would come over and we would play a game of tag. One person would be "it" and try to catch everyone. Once you were tagged, you had to stay in the spot until someone came to set you free by touching you. Someone would risk getting tagged to set you free. Once touched, you were free to run around again.
Christ in his mercy has touched you in a personal way in the water and the word of your baptism. Jesus was tagged with the wrath of God for the sins you commit and the fear you hold onto. Jesus died to free you so the favor of God may rest upon you. You are not captive anymore. Therefore, you can run free.
Lord have mercy

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