The Good News for the day, March 5, 2018
Monday of the Third Week of Lent (237)
Jesus says to the people in the synagogue of his home town, Nazareth: “The truth is: no prophet gets accepted in his own native place. Here, an instance: in the days of Elijah, there were many widows in Israel when the sky was closed up for three and a half years—a severe famine spreading over the whole area. It was to none of these widows that Elijah was sent, but only to a widow in Zarephath in the remote land of Sidon. Or another instance: there were many lepers in the Israel community during the time of Elisha the prophet; not one of them was cleansed—just Naaman who was a Syrian.” When the folks there in his own home town synagogue heard this, they were all enraged. They got up, brought him out of tow—to the cliff of the hill on which their town had been built, determined, to hurl him down from it. But he just passed through the midst of them and went away. (Luke 3)
Hostility meets the real prophet—is the point that this story is reminding you. Sometimes the hostility is overt—like here—where the folks you have known all your life look on you as a threat, an upsetting presence, a person with dangerous doctrines to live by. Other times, it is not your family and friends, but a larger situation—a neighborhood, a political group, a social community that feels just smug, reluctant to think—much less accept—your viewpoint, your spirit—as helpful. A more significant portion of the world you live in—your own Nazareth—sees you and your difference as more upsetting than useful, more a threat and temptation than something to be welcomed. Your kindness, forgiveness and vulnerability are not their way of life!
You know enough to expect this hostility, to know that not everyone thinks you are “nice,” or “a pleasure to be with.” No—There is always some group that does get mad and want to shut you down and keep you from changing their own more selfish convictions, practices or habits—the way they see the world.
Your call is to be responsive to t he Spirit that moves you, the creative truth that you live by, to pray yourself into a position that is not vengeful or petty—but that just moves on, moves on your way, obeying not the culture around you, but the spirit within you of graciousness, acceptance, open-heartedness—happily freed—saved—from that crowd-herd-mentality. The Good News is your Freedom!