Friday, January 29, 2016

Epiphany 4 C - Luke 4:21-30

Luke 4:21-30
The sermon that began so well has taken a turn for the worse and Jesus has no one to blame but himself. Somewhere in the well speaking and amazement his gracious words have taken on an edge and the home town crowd is not amused. At first glance it looks like Jesus is provoking without provocation. So maybe Luke the historian left out some details. Maybe there’s a heckler in the last pew shouting “prove it” when Joseph’s boy claims his Father is a higher power. On the other hand, Jesus is not doing something here that he won’t do elsewhere and for the next three years a lot of places will react in the same way. Before we judge the home town crowd too harshly we might ask ourselves what words of Jesus might prompt us to do him in? It is more likely that given our ability to rationalize his hard sayings and contain his difficult teachings in dogmatic our ire is almost always directed away from ourselves. Then we puff up with self-righteous pride and use Jesus’ words to throw the less pious or too pious or not pious enough off the hill upon which our rigid theologies are built. But the word that Jesus brings is that God stepped outside the boundaries of God’s own people to bless a foreign widow and an Assyrian general. In the same way God will not be contained within our constructs of who is deserving and who isn’t, who belongs and who doesn’t and even who is saved and who isn’t because that word belongs to the One who climbed a hill in Jerusalem and didn’t come down until he was finished.

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