Monday, April 27, 2009


"A person who speaks for God is not respected in their own country." Luke 4:24

Recently I was visiting with my mother. It was Easter weekend and all sorts of folks were down for the weekend. It turned out to be a lovely Easter Sunday, warm and mild and many old friends were out walking and visiting. My daughter and I stopped to talk to friends and then moved along, only to hear them call to other friends and family. I happened to hear my name used by one of them and they referred to me as Carol Theobald, my maiden name. Startled at first, since this person had been at my wedding and we have been friends forever, I realized anew some of what it means to be familiar. Sometimes it means that we can gracefully overlook the changes in time and we are accepted as we have always been. Other times, it can mean an overlooking of critical gifts and skills, of good changes that have happened in our lives. Sometimes familiar people and familiar roads can blind us to the positive way that God sees us. And some times the familiar can take away our ability to thrive.

Jesus goes home and finds folks who were initially accepting but then began to question him and lost sight of Jesus in relationship to his father, Joseph. Their familiarity blinded them to the present good and the healing he was offering. Their familiarity dis-empowered Jesus. They couldn't get beyond what they knew to see what God might be doing in their lives.

Today, I want to live with eyes open to God's new possibilities in this world. Among the familiar I ask to see the potential, the breakthroughs and the new gifts and skills. I want to take in the familiar world and be newly impressed with God's work among us. It is harder to see when we are in comfortable, reliable places. And yet, I ask God today to give us eyes to see the power of Christ in our midst, in the familiar world around us.

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