Saturday, January 30, 2016

Joseph's Son

Speak or think these words until God is at the center of your mind.
The lot is cast into the lap, but the decision is the Lord's alone.
—Proverbs 16:33

All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” He said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘Doctor, cure yourself!’ And you will say, ‘Do here also in your hometown the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.’” And he said, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown. But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land; yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.” When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff. But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way.
—Luke 14:22-30

The people of Nazareth have been given many reasons to glorify God through what Jesus, a "hometown boy" has done and is doing. But at the very point where they should be able to acknowledge God at work, they intentionally stop short and refuse to look beyond the child they've always known. How often are we guilty of the same: refusing to see God at work in a new way in the life of someone we think we already know?

(Suggested tune: Leicester CM)
O God, I have been taught by you
from earliest days of youth;
and all the wonders you have done
I will declare as truth.
—Psalm 71:17

Let this prayer help guide the personal prayers that follow.
Help me to look beyond my assumptions about who I think people are, O God, that I may see how you are at work in their lives...

(Spoken aloud or silently)

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

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