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The Work of Christmas … to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent meto proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 
Luke 4:18-19

Reading from the scroll of Isaiah, Jesus finished with this final nugget of prophecy: I am anointed to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:19). No doubt this passage had been read in that particular synagogues to those folks many times. Perhaps they even knew the words by heart. It is you and I who need it explained

The year of the Lord’s favor was thought to refer to the Year of Jubilee written about in Leviticus 25:8-55. The short version: every fiftieth year all mortgages were cancelled, all lands returned to the original owner, all bondfolk freed from their indentured service, all heralded by the sound of the trumpet. The land belonged to God (25:23) and the Israelites were His servants (25:55), and He would have them back in His hands.

Fast forward with me to the ultimate Jubilee year at the end of time. The good news Jesus was about to preach to the poor would culminate in the redemption of all who believe. There would be no further misunderstanding of His messianic reference. “But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets” (Revelation 10:7).

Let the trumpet sound! As Howard Thurman ended his poetic interpretation, the Work of Christmas is destined to make music in the heart

Ladies, while Christmas is fresh on our minds, the Work of Christmas is no small thing for us to consider. As we approach 2017, may we not rest in the celebrations of the nativity. It is up to us to preach the good news to all who will listen: How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? (Romans 10:14)

Nancy P

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