Scripture: Luke 4:14-30
Key verse: (17) and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:
Reflection: I love the structure that rituals bring. The ritual of waking up and drinking coffee before starting my day or my Sunday morning walk to church to encounter the familiar pace of worship filled with prayer and the Word read and proclaimed. My brain loves to establish patterns through which I live my life.
One of the things that has been the hardest for me during this pandemic is the lack of ritual. I have had to make new rituals, most of which do not involve a change in scenery but are none the less meaningful in their own right. I have created morning practice that still involve my morning cup of coffee but include sitting quietly and reading. I have begun to bake bread weekly, allowing me to connect my hands and heart to some of the food that I eat. These simple practices keep me tethered during these uncertain and ever-changing times.
In our Luke text for today, we begin with Jesus participating in a weekly ritual as well; he goes to the synagogue on the Sabbath. I love this passage because we get a glimpse of Jesus doing a very normal thing, gathering in community and reading the Word. Jesus read Isaiah to those gathered. And while the action within this section is ritual, the words Jesus reads shine light on the truth that Jesus brings, “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 favor.” This passage is a reminder not only of Jesus’ ability to resonate with our rituals but also the fact that he is the Messiah, the anointed One, who came to bring good news to us all. May we find peace in our own rituals, that they might give us hope and connect us to the good news we find in Jesus.
Prayer: God of all times and place, we give you thanks for routines that hold us together and bind us to you. May our rituals be guided by your spirit, that through them we may be better stewards of your kingdom. In the name of Christ, we pray. Amen.
Author: Savannah Demuynck
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].
 (Luke 4:18-19)