• Browse by Topic

  • The comments and opinions expressed herein on this web site do not necessarily reflect the beliefs and point of view of Lutheran Hour Ministries. Statements are made exclusively by the author and appear as written and have not be subject to the Lutheran Hour Ministries doctrinal review process.

Good News for the poor

“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 4:16-19

Like many others I was born in a traditional church, in which it is very common to associate being a Christian with belonging to a particular ethnic group. This usually becomes a barrier for mission work. But God made me come to this world in a country with a heterogeneous society, in both cultural and economical aspects. If I wanted to be faithful to God and be his witness I had to cross barriers, even if that made me feel uncomfortable. The possibility to work among the poor and excluded in the Great Buenos Aires taught me valuable lessons. The most valuable is to see how the Gospel transforms into Good News for the poor.

The passage in Luke describes the day Jesus presented himself at his town’s synagogue. Jesus presented himself as a king or governor who presents his government plan. He had been put there by God, to undo the great tragedy caused by humanity’s disobedience. He had been anointed with the Holy Spirit’s power, to be an obedient servant until the end of his mission. The old prophecies of blessing given to the patriarchs and prophets would be fulfilled in him.

Jesus’ coming would become Good News for those who represented the least favored part of the society. They were those that enjoyed fewer privileges. They were those that, according to the traditional Judaism, were excluded from the Kingdom. They were those that had little to lose and everything to win. The first generation of believers was part of that social sector. A jubilee is now announced to them, a time in which debts are paid and the oppressed recover their dignity.

The reality of salvation is the same today, and there are many who are missing this Good News. They are those who believe they can see but are blind, those who believe they are rich but are empty, and those who feel free but are still tied to the powers of this world. Jesus offers his salvation to those who are conscious that they have nothing to offer and everything to receive. Jesus offers his grace and forgiveness in one line: the one of those who are conscious of their sin, their slavery, their poverty and their blindness. It is beautiful to see when God through his Gospel restores the lives of those who are rejected and discriminated and gives them power to put in order their lives and their families. They, whom for so many things are last, here they become the first.

Prayer: Lord, give me a poor and humble heart to receive the gift of your salvation. Free me of pride and help me look upon those you loved with mercy. Make me an instrument to share your good news. Amen.

Antonio R. Schimpf.

He has been Professor of the Concordia Seminary since 1990 and now is part time pastor of the congregation “La Concordia” in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He has been a leader for some years now in a mission project in a poor neighborhood in the Great Buenos Aires.

“Equipping the saints”

[rockyou id=156701546&w=426&h=320]

Dear brothers in Christ: During the month of November, in the city of Crespo – province of Entre Rios – we were able to take part of the course “Equipping the saints”. This course was given by Pastor Alberto Groh, who for many years was the Foundation’s (CPTLN) Director. It was truly a blessing for all. Without any doubt, one of the gifts God has given Alberto is the gift of communication, since he gave the course in a clear and pleasant way. May God allow him to continue doing this work. We were able to learn what the name says: “Equipping the saints”. I encourage and invite everyone to participate in this course. I have the privilege of being one of the collaborators. This is a gift from God, since being able to have this material and share it with people in need, has opened doors of many homes in which I was able to leave a message according to each need. At the Foundation we have materials that can help people with all sorts of problems, who are looking for answers to issues they face in their daily lives.

Maria Asuncion Cuyas Duch