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In this most remarkable of months for the country and our politics, there was one phrase which Liz Truss used repeatedly throughout her short tenure at number 10, often at the start of an “answer” to a totally different question. 

“What I have delivered…” she kept saying, while trying to tie some form of action that she had taken to a promise she had made throughout the leadership campaign. 

This phrase proves a couple of things. Firstly, words matter. Secondly. Actions matter more. 

A few weeks ago, when looking at Luke chapter 4, we watched as Jesus walked into a local Synagogue, unrolled the scroll of holy writings and 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 favour”… and then, having read out this lofty promise, he sits down while saying to all assembled; “This is all fulfilled right now in me”.

It’s a big claim. 

Like “I’m going to unite the country, grow the economy and ensure world peace”.

As we continue through the gospel of Luke, we get a front row seat though on several weird and wonderful stories from the daily life of Jesus and his mates. This week as we read through chapters 8 and 9 (we will come back to a story from chapter 8 next weekend) we whizz through another bunch of stories all crammed together by Luke. 

Jesus calms an actual storm as well as bringing peace to a man tormented by demons. He makes a sick woman better, a dead girl re-alive and whips up a miraculous feast for a vast crowd from (almost) thin air. He casts out some more darkness from a young afflicted boy and finds time to teach his disciples and hang out with some apparently resurrected prophets from ye olden olden days. 

His promises landed him in hot water in chapter 4. 

But now he is delivering. 

Captives are being set free. Blind people are enjoying the view and oppressed people are breathing in the sweet scent of freedom. 

Not only that, Jesus takes some time off while getting his disciples to carry on his work. He sends them out in small groups and pairs around the countryside into town and villages, telling them to do all the stuff he has been doing, and explicitly gives them the authority they need to do it. 

He essentially tells them to go and also deliver. (Side note of vital importance…Jesus sends them in pairs and groups. Discipleship is meant to be enjoyed together. Though each of us are disciples, none of us are meant to fly solo.)

Otherwise, we are left with a couple of questions to ponder this week. 

Firstly. As a disciple of the same Master, in what ways am I a bringer of peace and involved in the declaration of the favour of the Lord? Am I releasing the oppressed and bringing good news to the poor? I have been given authority and permission to do so!

Secondly. Where do I see the Spirit of Jesus still delivering on the promises of his Kingdom in and around me? Wisdom from the experienced followers of Christ affirms that the signs of the goodness of God are usually all around us if only we will take the time to notice them. 

As we seek the presence of the king and activity of the kingdom this week, may you know the blessing, encouragement and empowering of the master upon you, his disciple.