Sunday, October 29, 2006

Katharine Jefferts Schori will become our new presiding bishop next Saturday. The Bible passages that will be read are: Isaiah 25:1-9, Psalm 98, Ephesians 4:1-16, and Luke 4:14-21. She has asked the church to contemplate and pray these lessons during this week before her Investiture.
The Isaiah lesson speaks of a time when all can come to the feast and rejoice and be glad. The Psalm sings praises to God for the marvelous things God has done, even the hills sing and the waters clap its hands. Ephesians calls Christians to unity - using the image of God knitting us together. Luke tells of the time when Jesus read the scroll that is our first lesson and proclaims that this has happened at that very moment. It is the Year of the Lord's Favor. The word in Greek is dektos - and is often associated with the Year of Jubilee referred to in Leviticus - where all receive their share of the communities wealth. Those who have piled up more than others - return the extra to those who have lost their share. The land is permitted to rest and all feast together. It was a dream that probably never happened but an awareness that wealth is to be shared and not hoarded. Dektos at is root means acceptable or welcome.
Some questions that come to mind for me are:
What does it mean when Jesus proclaims the year of the Lord's favor?
A party favor is a gift to those who show up.
When someone does us a favor - we try to return it or at least pass it on to others.
Mary was favored among women - bringing God to birth in this world.
If we have God's favor - what is our response?
When have I felt "the Lord's favor"?
When have I returned the Lord's favor?
When have I felt accepatable and welcome?
When have I helped others to feel acceptable and welcome?