Preparation for the Heart: November 29

Lutheran Indian Ministries 2016 Advent Devotion

Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him. He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him.
Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." 
Luke 4:14-19 (NIV)

 With any ministry, it is important to think through a mission statement. Why are we here? What is our focus and purpose? I love the fact that the first thing Jesus does after the intensity of “the temptation” is to walk into the synagogue where He grew up, and in the reading of the day, shares His mission statement.

The heart and soul that moved the Spirit of God to come as a Redeemer into our fallen world was (and still is) our intense spiritual poverty, our captivity to the power of sin, and our depths of brokenness.

 What drew both Connie and me to share in the ministry at Neah Bay was that we identified with the pain of the Makah people. Our hearts broke as we saw the hurt, the brokenness, and the sad dynamics of addiction and abuse that plague our native brethren. At Advent, we can easily get caught up in preparing for the Christmas season and forget that the very reason Jesus stepped into this world was to restore all of our broken lives with His love and forgiveness.

 Holy Father, by Your Spirit, open my eyes to someone today that is hurting and simply needs to know that Your love sent Your Son, Jesus, into our world for them and so many others just like them, Amen.

Rev. Winston Wilson (Cowlitz), Neah Bay, Washington