Thursday, October 4, 2018

Devotion - Thursday, October 4

I have always been troubled by the story of Jesus' "going home."  I read it this morning, from Luke 4.

When he arrives, there is great excitement.  He is asked to read in the synagogue.  But, by the end of the day, the neighbors of his family are ready to throw him off a cliff.

There is an exchange in which he points out to them how difficult it is to be accepted in one's hometown and among one'e own family.  This leads to their being angry.  And maybe his words point out what is true about going home, even in the lives of those who don't speak such challenging things.

"Home" tends to want to claim credit for us.  "Home" wants to be understood as the soil out of which we have emerged.  This is true - in so many ways.  But there are lots of other influences as well.  Influences which we wish to honor and acknowledge.

I emerged from Vale, NC, very grateful for all that it had taught me.  But I also learned a lot more things once I had moved from Vale to Raleigh and finally to Chicago.  Some of those things helped me to see ways in which those who remained at home (in Vale) were trapped by their not knowing about the wider world.  These were lessons I was eager to share; many of my neighbors were not so eager to receive them.

So much of what I learned in Raleigh and Chicago was about God and the Christian Faith.  This awareness came from my exposure to God's Word and God's servants.  I learned about grace and forgiveness; I learned about compassion and assistance.  God surely could have taught me these lessons while I was still in Vale, but I learned them as I followed Jesus into other places and other settings.  And, I wanted to share what I had discovered about God with the persons I knew the most and loved the deepest.  But, as I said at the end of the previous paragraph, it didn't always go so well

Maybe Jesus' return home is a lesson for all of us.  Perhaps God wants us to find ourselves as we venture out into the world God has made.  And I do think there are some lessons which can only be learned when we allow ourselves to step outside the comfortable cocoons.

Be aware of what you are learning and how you are changing.  Look for every opportunity to share this with those back "home."  But do not be surprised when you find yourself comfortable in a new home, and have the confidence that this new home can be (and will be) as complete and as important to you as the previous one.

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