Jesus’ Homecoming Message

Written by Joel on November 4th, 2010

The winged bull represents Saint Luke. Here it is on a window on our East wall.

Oct 17, 2010
The Feast of Saint Luke the Evangelist
Luke 4:14-21


We break from the lectionary this week to celebrate our patron’s feast day and homecoming at County Line Church!

Today this scripture is fulfilled in our hearing, proclaiming, and our gathering.

Intro: what is a church homecoming? Would you all believe that this is my first church homecoming? When I first heard of such a thing my mind conjured up images of a dance, with a homecoming king and queen (usually the quarterback and a cheerleader), a parade with floats all followed by the first football game of the season against the cross-town rivals. I was told that’s not quite what happens at a church homecoming. Though I was beginning to wonder if that’s why County Line called such a young pastor; I bet Grace UCC could field a pretty good football team. When it comes to the country church homecoming, I am told (this being my first one); it is an opportunity for old members who have moved away to come back home. To meet old friends, to reminiscence, and of course a covered dish dinner. That it is a time for remembering of those found traditions of our childhood, to reconnect with a place that is deeply meaningful. As I understand it, a church homecoming is a whole lot like a family reunion. Our Gospel reading on this day, as we celebrate the feast of St. Luke, is a similar story of a church homecoming.

Homecoming connections in the text, see v.16. Where he had been brought up. On the Sabbath day. To the synagogue. As was his custom.

The slow down of the details of Jesus’ reading. He stood, the scroll was given to him, he unrolled it, found his place, read, rolled it up, gave it back, sat down. There is a great deal of anticipation here. And it is more than a reading, Jesus goes on to preach from this text. This is his entrance into the ministry, his first sermon. It would describe what his whole ministry would be about. Much like a president’s inauguration speech

My first sermon

Saint Luke – what’s in a name, why choose this saint? St. Luke is often associated with hospitals, which makes sense since he is called a physician. The text speaks of healing.

No one seems to know why this church choose Saint Luke. The physician? The winged bull? Because all the other Evangelists were already taken in the area?

I would like to offer (because I can sorta make it up, since no one knows the real reason why) – that it is because Saint luke also wrote the Acts of the Apostles – what happened after Jesus left this world, when the Holy Spirit acted in the church, continuing the mission of God. What if we took this spirit of mission, of continuation, of forward looking the reason for our being named for Saint Luke?

Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.

The nature of homecoming is forward looking. What the year has ahead, the new hopes the new dreams.

We fulfill this scripture today whenever we proclaim it and act in Jesus’ name. Today it is fulfilled in our hearing, our gathering, our being the church God called us to be. Remembering Christ and his Evangelist Saint Luke from whom we take our name.


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