Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Today’s text

Mark 6:1-5

With the coming of the Sabbath he began teaching in the synagogue, and most of them were astonished when they heard him. They said, 'Where did the man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been granted him, and these miracles that are worked through him? This is the carpenter, surely, the son of Mary, the brother of James and Joset and Jude Jude and Simon? His sisters, too, are they not here with us?' And they would not accept him. And Jesus said to them, 'A prophet is despised only in his own country, among his own relations and in his own house'; and he could work no miracle there … .


Ordinary days and faces fill our moments.

The phone rings, and we hear a familiar voice. Our mind activates a category, a box that stores our knowledge of the person we hear. Quickly, we know--or think we know--who they are, what’s most likely on their mind and what they want.

Something similar happens when we go to the common places of our lives--work, our street, a store, a friend’s home, the back patio. We know what to expect, what’s likely to happen.

Our familiarity breeds contentment with what we think we know.

We enjoy a sense of knowing comfort that slows listening and prevents us from receiving information that doesn’t fit our comfortable categories. Perhaps our minds need this lest they become overheated dealing with millions of stimuli each moment.

But this keeps us skimming across the surface of life, content with what we think we know. And we miss the depth of moments and the beauty of souls by deftly ignoring insights and information that doesn’t fit our vision of the world.

There are few better examples of this than the current woeful state of our nation’s political discourse, in which ideological divides prevent people from truly hearing and seeing each other.

Just like Jesus’ townspeople couldn’t really see and hear him. They knew him too well … or so they thought. They knew his family and had him fixed in a category of understanding that told them who he was and what they could expect of him.

They didn’t expect depth or insight, holiness or wisdom, and they certainly didn’t expect his life to be transparent to God.

It didn’t fit their “knowledge” and fell outside what they thought was possible.

They didn’t know: His face was the face of eternity, the image of the unseen Wonder, the Source of every beauty, a sacrament of the Love who has no limit.

He didn’t fit the box in which they had put him. But, then, there is no box in which we can trap Jesus.

The gracious kindness and wisdom that fills him explodes the walls of every box in which we might confine him. His is a mercy and grace that cannot be contained.

And that’s good news.

Pr. David L. Miller

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