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Nazarene nightmare, Nazarene dream

by davesandel on February 3rd, 2021

Wednesday, February 3, 2021            (today’s lectionary)

Nazarene nightmare, Nazarene dream

Jesus came to his native place, where he was amazed at the peoples’ lack of faith.

We had heard of Jesus, but now we have seen him. But why did so many of my neighbors mock him when he tried to preach? What is wrong with these people? We Nazarenes can be pretty stubborn and stiff-necked. “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Maybe not, the way we act toward anything new.

Jesus looked on us with compassion when we took offense at him. And yet even on this ugly afternoon, surrounded by resistance, Jesus cured a few sick people just by laying hands on them. He touched my grandma’s ears, and suddenly she could hear us speak again. Her life was changed in an instant! I was amazed, and so thankful!

The kindness of the Lord is from eternity to eternity toward those who fear him. He knows how we are formed; he remembers that we are dust. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.

A friend told me the healing was temporary. Well, of course it is! What does he think, that we will live forever? I’ll take even a single day without my sickness. With her new ears, my grandma heard me say it, and she agreed me with me. “Thank you, Jesus,” she said to him. Jesus smiled when she said that and turned to another, waiting in line. Jesus touched her too. Couldn’t we just keep still about our native son, and let him do his work among us like he has everywhere else he’s gone?

Strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for your feet, so that even the lame will be healed.

I walked home with my Oma after Jesus had left. The sun had nearly set. A warm breeze brushed over the hair on my arms, and my skin softened. It felt exquisite. Oma walked slowly, and so did I. We smelled suppers cooking along our way. We were not in a rush. All we could have expected from this day had happened. We just walked and took one breath after another. I felt peaceful and quiet.

I began to realize that on that afternoon, Jesus changed my life too. He didn’t ignore the men who criticized him, but he didn’t listen to them either. He was showing me how I could do that. He was showing all of us, at least those of us who had eyes to see.

Strive always for peace with everyone, and see to it that no one is deprived of the grace of God. Seek the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.

When my father died, and my mother died, and then in no time at all my wife died too, I was left only with my Oma. We talked often during the meals we took together. I felt so much pain, and I was often sorry for myself. Oma didn’t stop me, but I could tell she wasn’t listening very closely. Once when I was finished she told me the story of Joseph in the well, thrown down there by his brothers. I knew she wanted to me to learn how to let God be in charge,  to let him teach me his ways.

Brothers and sisters! In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood. Endure your trials as discipline, because God treats you as his sons and daughters, and the Lord disciplines the ones he loves.

Until today, Oma’s wisdom fell on my own mostly deaf ears. Today her ears were opened, and so were mine. How could I suddenly be almost thankful for pain, and suffering, even for being left alone?

I think I’m learning something here, and as I watched Jesus walk away, I was sure it was him who was teaching me.

(Hebrews 12, Psalm 103, John 10, Mark 6)


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