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.” (Luke 4:14 – 15)

We, meaning humanity, often need a “course correction”. Jesus did and does not. He had gotten done being tempted by the evil one. And sent that unseemly on entity on its way. Coming to the portion of ministry that was destined to both soothe and rile people, Jesus started his journey.

“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.” (Verses 16 – 20)

Two things catch my eye, beloved reader; that this synagogue was where he grew to adulthood. If your church of origin is like mine, the congregation is very familiar with you; knowing all your faults and flaw – if that is you have faults and flaws. It can also be a place of great nurture and care. The congregants want you to succeed and have tried to give you the best grounding and teaching that they can so that you can soar to great faith heights.

Now, Jesus being Jesus, knew how they would respond. Knew if they would accept what and who he was, or if they would not. One wonders if they were aware or were granted the insight to see his divinity. Reading further in this chapter, one would read their response; the acceptance and the insult that came a few minutes later.

The other thing caught my eye was that after this reading, he was expected to say something. I would imagine they expected a small explanation of the text they heard. Maybe a brief exegesis about the text. Or maybe a homily or recollection that this text pertained to. They were open and gracious to hear from him – a small town boy who had returned.

“Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” (Verse 21)

Sometimes, beloved reader, we need a course correction. But sometimes we are to give the course correction. Paul would say this is the role of preachers or teachers. But really, anyone can give a spiritual or Christian course correction. In my faith tradition there is an environment of mutuality where we hold each other accountable to our common faith belief. We take seriously going to a fellow believer if we feel that a gentle and counseling needs to be said. Furthermore, my faith tradition prepares believers for such a task. Part of my seminary training was becoming a spiritual director. But even without such training, the expectation is that if you “see something, say something.” Jesus at several points in his teaching of the apostles explains how to give a “course correction” to a fellow believer. I have, I think, said enough on this topic.

May you, beloved reader, take your direction and re-direction from Jesus Christ and the Holy Presence. And may you, as the Spirit leads you, give gentle correction and re-direction to others. Selah & Shalom!