January 30, 2013

Into the Synagogue

Luke 4:14-21 
“He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, as was his custom.”  But why?  What did Jesus expect to find and hear in the synagogue that he did not already know? 

Surely the prayers of the preacher, the psalms that were sung, the scriptures read and the message of the teacher were all old hat to him.  Surely he would have rather been off on some mountainside walking and praying, surely it would have been better for him to rest his tired body after putting in a hard week at work.  But here he is, attending church, attending worship in the Synagogue “as was his custom” week in and week out, year in and year out.

Yet again ask, why? What did he get out of it? Why did he have to go?  I think there are many good reasons.  The most obvious is that Jesus attended worship held each Sabbath day because that is part of what it means to keep the Sabbath; Jesus attended because it is part of what God said to do: “Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy.”

Out of obedience to God,Jesus attended worship.  I like what one commentator points out here: “Jesus’ obedience to God, like ours, helps establish a foundation upon which the Lord can build, it conditions us so that God can fully inhabit the temple―that is our heart.

I once read an illustration about a man who was telling a friend that he no longer saw any point in going to church - that he had heard over a 1000 sermons in his lifetime and couldn't remember what any of them said. 

Upon hearing this his friend replied that over the same period of time he had eaten over a 1000 meals that his wife had prepared - and that he would be hard pressed to remember a single one of them - but that wasn't about to stop him from going home for supper.   

God has prepared a meal "at church" for us each and every Sunday.  Whether we realize it or not, God is giving us permission to eat off his plate―a plate filled with food unlike the world's food; a plate with a variety like no other and a taste like no other.  It’s up to each of us to keep coming 'home' for supper in order to continue being ‘spiritually’ fed.

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