Legacy Devotional: Day 9
The Synagogue: A Place of Consistency
At the age of 30, at the outset of His ministry, Jesus attended His local synagogue. The massive Temple complex was located in Jerusalem some 150 km away so each Jewish settlement had adopted the local synagogue model as a central hub for their communal worship. The idea of an exclusively private, monastic type of spiritual life separated from others was not one that Jesus ever adhered to.
We are told that it was Jesus’ custom to go to the synagogue on the Sabbath. A custom is a habitual practice, the usual way of acting. This tells us that Jesus was a faithful and committed member of this local faith community and placed value upon it. He would have customarily attended this synagogue while growing up with His family for corporate worship, social interaction and the public reading of the Scriptures.
When God created us, He designed us to live in healthy interdependent relationship with each other. Like trees in the forest that share vital nutrients through an intricate underground root system, so too humans living amidst a healthy faith community are able to support and supply what is needed in each other’s lives.
Each of us needs a place of belonging where we can be loved and share love with others. As we become like Jesus and become a part of our local faith community, we meet the two deepest needs we share as humans: to be loved and to love. The consistency with which we invest ourselves—our time, emotion, worship, prayer, offerings and attention—into God’s House pays dividends, particularly in our relational worlds. More than that, however, it nourishes and refines our spirits so we better reflect and glorify our Father in heaven.
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“So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.” - Luke 4:16, NKJV
Key Passages: Luke 4:14-16, Hebrews 10:25