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Imagining the Lectionary: Cherry picking with Jesus (Epiphany 3C)
Reflection accompanying image “Cherry picking with Jesus

As Jesus is handed the Isaiah scroll to read in his home synagogue, Luke delights in setting the narrative stage for the heart of this ancient text to be proclaimed afresh with power and passion as a potent paradigmatic manifesto for the contemporary Jesus movement. Jesus cherry picks from scripture the passage which becomes for him and his disciples the defining motif of their collective role in establishing God's Kingdom.
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 (Luke 4:18-19)
In an act which is stunning in both its simplicity and boldness, Jesus rises above the petty bickering and narrow minded, inward looking concerns of religious life to present an overview of faith that is personal and purposeful. Speaking with all the pure, distilled and uncorrupted verbal force of the verbs which the prophetic tradition poured out into this text from the very heart of God's intention for humanity, Jesus elevates religion to a vocational movement of solidarity.


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