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Luke {Week 4} ~ From the Synagogue to the Streets

It was like most any other day, with a to-do list a mile long.  Lunch and naptimes come so quickly in daily routines with little ones, and I’m often in a rush to complete my errand-running early on to prevent any unnecessary meltdowns.

Ah yes, we moms are all too familiar with that meltdown window, aren’t we?  Heh.

The last item on my list made it’s way into my shopping cart, and I speed-walked to the check-out, feeling that familiar window coming to a close.  Always in a hurry, it seems.  My mind continually checking off tasks, then quickly planning for the next thing.  And plan in my head I did, as I waited not-so-patiently in line for it to be our turn.

The check-out lady had had one of those days, I could tell.  While I preferred to stick to small-talk to ensure greater efficiency through the line, my girl, in true four- year-old fashion, didn’t hesitate to strike up a conversation with our worn-looking cashier.  Unlike me, the department store employee didn’t seem to be in a hurry that day.  Instead, her slow moving hands and sad eyes spoke of a heaviness in her heart.

I decided to really mean it when I asked her how she was doing, and she began to cry as she told me that she buried her mom the day before after an unexpected turn of events.  I grabbed her hand, comforted her the best I could in the moment available to us, and assured her that I really would pray for her.  And I meant it.


And God stopped me in my hurried tracks.


People are hurting.  And shame on me for being wrapped up in my own agenda so often that I miss out on more opportunities just like this one.


In our Luke 4 reading this week, I was struck by the fact that Jesus began in the synagogue, reading these words from Isaiah to the people of his familiar hometown:

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has

anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners

and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,  

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

But continuing in the chapter, Jesus’ demographics quickly changed. He did more than just read about His ministry.  He lived it.


Jesus made a habit of not lingering long in the synagogue or in the familiar, but instead wasted no time in finding His way out onto the streets and into the lives of the broken.


Fast-forward a couple thousand years or so, and we find ourselves in a culture that prefers clean-cut independence and familiarity.  We’re far too attracted to the beautiful, the successful, and to those inside the comfort of our own church walls.  The lower maintenance the better, because frankly, we have agendas to keep.

Living Like Jesus can get messy.  It’s a bold step into the unpredictable, and maybe even not so popular to some.  It means not getting so comfortable in our safe places, content in soaking up the Gospel only for ourselves, that we forget to reach out to those less-than-neatly-packaged outside of our church walls.  It’s rubbing shoulders with the hurting and the lost, so that they might find Hope in more than what this world has to offer.  It’s being so changed because of Jesus, that we willingly and often put aside our own to-do lists long enough to look through His eyes to seek out the broken all around us.


If we want to truly Live Like Jesus, we need to step out of our “synagogues” of schedules and selfishness, and step onto the streets… to love the broken in need of a Savior.


Not sure where to start?  Trust me, if you slow down long enough and ask Jesus to give you His eyes… you won’t have to look far.


 Jesus left the synagogue and went to the home of Simon.” ~Luke 4:38


At His feet,



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  1. Beautiful, Whitney!!! Thank you for the reminder. I had somehow forgotten it’s not about my agenda,it’s about His!

  2. Vicki Weller says:

    Love this, Whitney! We all need to get out of that “comfort zone”. Enjoying this study and I appreciate your perspective this morning. Blessings on you.

  3. WoW! Thank you! I really needed this today! I am far to comfortable and I realize I need to get out there and be a blessing to someone in someway :)

  4. Christina A. says:

    Beautifully written. I thank you so much for this. YOUR WORDS SPEAK SUCH TRUTH!!!! I feel like i barely get through the week, all wrapped up in my bubble, agendas and accomplishments. There is so much I’m missing that could truly glorify God and those he cares for. Oh I pray that I may see through his eyes and be still long enough to live out his agenda. Thanks again for these wise words.

  5. Wow Whitney!!! What a powerful story you shared – and your words – they moved me to remember those faces I see through out the day outside my home – that need love.

    Thank you!!!

  6. Thank you for this Whitney!


  7. I’ve been pondering the same thing in the past few month. Looking outward and really putting into action being there for those who are hurting. Enough feeling sorry for myself – consider others instead. I blogged about my heart on this a while back. http://jessnewland.blogspot.com/2012/12/people-are-hurting.html

  8. I really was profoundly moved by this post. I am ALWAYS in hurry mode. Even in my sleep. I really needed this to stop me in my tracks. Thank you for writing it!

  9. Jayne Parrott says:

    That was great – Makes me realize how off the mark I really am.
    I am much to wrapped up in my own world.

    Thank you

  10. This is so true! Reading it made my heart ache because I too find myself in a rush and overlooking others hurts and needs.

  11. Thank you so much for this message (and for taking that cashier’s hand!). Bless you, I really needed this reminder! I appreciate your pointing me towards Jesus!!

  12. Wow….Lord give me your eyes….

  13. Deborah Starr says:

    This has been something that I’ve started working on Simplifying & Slowing down. Thank you for reminding me agin of WHY I’m doing this. Just because I’m not doing what I used to do doesn’t mean that I’m not doing anything. It can be that God is freeing my up for what He has for me. I do Love helping others & in the past I’ve had times when i had so much to do I was overwhelmed at the time of helping them. We don’t want to feel like we are putting others out that is why so many of us don’t ask for help when we need it. God wants us to enjoy serving & helping others but the enemy will always try to steal that Joy. Distracting us with stuff that doesn’t even matter a week from now but at that very minute feel like a crisis. Or making us feel we are behind & missing out when really God’s timing is perfect & if we are walking w/ Him then He has a reason or can make any crazy situation for our good!

  14. Thank you, Whitney, for this reminder. It reminds me of a video I saw years ago where a man is impatient in waiting for this coffee, and then I don’t remember how but his glasses suddenly begin to show him all the things people are suffering with or going through as he looks around at the fumbling server or the man talking to loud in his cell, etc in the coffee shop. It opens his eyes to the myriad of personal issues behind the loud talking or distracted person in his way. We have to train ourselves to be open to the Spirit proding us to those opportunities to minister and share God’s love. We may be the link in the chain that brings that person to Him. Thank you again.

  15. Whitney, what a lovely reminder that it’s all about Jesus and HIs great work on this earth that He wants to work through us to do. We are His hands and feet- and if we do not go, who will? Sad that many times we get so complacent with our own comfortable-ness. Thanks for the reminder that “Jesus left the synagogue and went to the home of Simon”.
    Enough said.

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