“Liberty To The Captives” by The Rev. Kaji Douša
So, in churches across the world, especially churches that follow the Lectionary, we are reading from the Gospel of Luke chapter 4, and part of the story there is that Jesus goes to his hometown in Nazareth, and he stands up in the temple and he says, “The spirit of the Lord is upon me to proclaim good news to the poor, and liberty to the captives, and the year of the Lord’s favor.” And as he starts to proclaim this word, that is challenging to the people – they don’t like to hear it. And just the other day, just yesterday, I was at the Metropolitan Detention Center, here in Brooklyn. And it was really alarming to me and to the many protesters -hundreds of protestors out there in the freezing cold, in the waterfront of Brooklyn, how this dentition center (federal detention center) for people who haven’t even been convicted of a crime was freezing because they didn’t have any electricity. Or they had partial power. And it was freezing because the generators weren’t working. And so, people came, to try to bring blankets, and they turned them away. And it just made me think – I wonder if these people would call themselves followers of Jesus. I wonder if they remember that Jesus proclaimed good news to the poor, and release to the captives. And at least—at least, the captives, the people who are incarcerated, need some heat. So, if you want to follow Jesus, think through the ways that every single human can be treated with dignity, with warmth, and with love.