"The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him." - Luke 4:20
I've heard it said that integrity is who we are when no one is watching. While I certainly concur with this statement, I also recognize that in a world of ubiquitous cameras, microphones and internet access, there is hardly a time or place when no one is watching.
From our activities in elevators to our encounters on city streets, everything that happens and everyone involved is likely to make it to the internet and TV screens of millions.
When Jesus went to worship at the synagogue in his home town of Nazareth, he read a powerful passage in the Hebrew Bible from the book of Isaiah. It had to do with the endowment of God's Spirit given to him to relieve the woes of the poor, to set free prisoners free, to give sight to the blind and to liberate the oppressed.
When Jesus sat down to expound upon what he had read, Luke, the narrator, says that the eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him.
What were the people in the synagogue looking to see?
They were looking to see if the prophecy of Isaiah would have any fulfillment in the life of Jesus. They were looking to see if there would be any consistency between Jesus' proclamation and practice. They were looking to see if Jesus' deeds would match his creeds.
There is always a certain public focus upon the lives of people who claim to believe the promises of God. And why wouldn't there be? A sermon personified is much more powerful than a sermon preached.
God, for all who are watching, help me to show them more of You. Amen.
From UCC's Still Speaking Devotionals. Visit UCC.org