Luke 4:14-21is essential reading for anyone who desires to understand Jesus because it records what Jesus said he understood his purpose to be in life. This is not a commentary statement by Paul, John, Peter, James, Luke, Matthew, or some other religious figure. It is not an editorial statement by a Jesus admirer or critic. It is nothing less than the personal purpose statement of the purpose-driven Jesus.
Christians proclaim that God loves the world and its inhabitants, humans and everything else. We proclaim that Jesus came into the world as fulfillment and proof of God's tremendous love. We proclaim that God loves us so much that Jesus died to redeem us to God so that we can be restored for life in divine purpose and fellowship now and always. And, we proclaim that God loves us collectively and individually—all of us and each of us. These are core Christian beliefs.
The feast of the Epiphany of the Lord is one of the three oldest festival days on the Christian calendar (along with Christmas and Easter), yet is probably the least well known. It is always observed the twelfth day after Christmas (January 6), and marks the end of the Christmas season. As today is the first Sunday after Epiphany, our worship centers around the Epiphany observance. By the way, the holiday carol "Twelve Days of Christmas" refers to the twelve days between Christmas and Epiphany.
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