Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Reflecting on "The Year of the Lord's Favor"

From the bulletin insert provided by ENS to assist congregations in sharing in the celebration of the investiture of Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori as the Church’s 26th Presiding Bishop:

Prayer and celebration will mark two services in Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. During a festal Holy Eucharist on November 4, Bishop Jefferts Schori will be “invested” as Presiding Bishop for a nine-year term. This liturgy will be webcast. An All Saints Sunday service on November 5 will include her official seating in the cathedral. She will preach at both liturgies.

In these sermons, Bishop Jefferts Schori will call on Christians to live the gospel especially in terms of eradicating poverty, hunger and disease, both locally and globally, as advocated in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. These goals “help us live our faith in practical ways by relieving suffering, caring for creation, and educating all children — girls as well as boys,” she has said.

Bishop Jefferts Schori’s Saturday homily will be based on Isaiah 25: 1-9, Psalm 98, Ephesians 4:1-8; 11-16, and Luke 4:14-21. Please consider joining her in prayer and contemplation of these texts during the coming week. In the gospel lesson, Jesus reads from Isaiah 61, one of the bishop’s favorite passages, which Jesus takes as his own mission “to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted; to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor ...”
From Susan Russell:

I was really taken with the ENS publicity around the Investiture suggesting the church consider praying and contemplating with Bishop Schori the texts (Isaiah 25: 1-9, Psalm 98, Ephesians 4:1-16, and Luke 4:14-2) she has selected for her November 4th sermon in the week ahead.

We'll be using them for weekday Eucharists at All Saints Church this week but I felt like I wanted to do something "bigger" -- and got to thinking about a wider pooling of our wisdom ... about all of us reflecting together on what it means -- at this time and place in the life of this church -- to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.

And I wondered it if wouldn't be wonderful to hear from each other ... to not only encourage those who have blogs to reflect on these texts this week but also to create a place where we could link to those blogs AND to receive reflections from "out and about" ...

I'm imagining kind of a cyber-anthology marking this moment in the life of the Episcopal Church and have taken a shot at creating a site to compile it ... The Year of the Lord's Favor ... and an email address to receive submissions...
Here is the site. It already contains reflections by Bill Carroll and Ann Fontaine.

What a wonderful idea. Consider using these lessons for your daily reflections for the rest of this week. You may want to also contribute to this anthology. Here's the passage from Luke:

Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.

When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:

‘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.’

And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, ‘Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’

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