Friday, June 17 2022
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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 favor.” 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” (Luke 4:14-21).
Resurrection is the new creation that started 2000 years ago in the city of Nazareth. Jesus reads an Old Testament passage from Isaiah in his hometown synagogue. Jesus is anointed with the Holy Spirit to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. At St. John’s Episcopal Church in Huntington you are asked to join in this ministry. Our Baptismal covenant asks us to, “Strive for justice and peace among all people & respect the dignity of every human being.” We are asked to, “Engage the Spectrum of Racial and Social Justice, Participate in Criminal Justice Reform and Healing, and Stand with Immigrants and Refugees” in order to become a beloved community. This is a big challenge, but I believe that it is our calling. St. John’s has hosted three 10-week sessions of Sacred Ground. This program is part of the Episcopal Churches commitment to racial reconciliation. This fall we will offer a session for all our participants of Sacred Ground and look towards our next step in becoming beloved community.
“Juneteenth (short for “June Nineteenth”) marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people be freed. The troops’ arrival came a full two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth honors the end to slavery in the United States and is considered the longest-running African American holiday. On June 17, 2021, it officially became a federal holiday. Confederate General Robert E. Lee had surrendered at Appomattox Court House two months earlier in Virginia, but slavery had remained relatively unaffected in Texas—until U.S. General Gordon Granger stood on Texas soil and read General Orders No. 3: ‘The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free”” (History Website).
O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son:
Look with compassion on the whole human family;
take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts;
break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love;
and work through our struggle and
confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth;
that, in your good time, all nations and races may
serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
– Prayer for the Human Family (Book of Common Prayer, p. 815)
In Christ’s love,