Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Faithfulness and Capacity

And when Jesus had finished these parables, he went away from there, and coming to his hometown he taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.” And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief. Matthew 13:53-58

I am constantly surprised at the challenge of living and serving in the community where I grew up. I came here as an infant, when my Dad was called to be the Pastor of the Presbyterian Church in town. I went through all my years of schooling here, and graduated from Harrison High School. I was and am a Husky. And yet as a rebellious and normal teenager, I could not imagine ever returning to this community for work. I didn't think there was a place for me. How delighted I was when I was called here and to a wonderful, loving and inclusive parish. A place that does not take offense but sees faithfulness and capacity in each individual. The barriers for me are as much old memories and limitations. My challenge is to be faithful and to make new memories that are not bound by limits but are creative invitations to trust God and one another more.

Jesus was limited in his own town, not because of his lack of capacity or faithfulness but by the judgments made by old friends and neighbors, who out of jealousy, confusion, or some others old hurt, were offended by one of their own being close to God and honored by others. This happens all too often, when we should be rejoicing in the presence of God in others. We could be learning and growing but we often chose to label others and limit ourselves.

Today, I want to remember that we each have the capacity to invite God's faithfulness and miracles in our lives, or we can chose to limit God by refusing the love we are given each day. May this be a day when I turn from judgment (of myself and others) and open my heart to the invitation of God's love. May we all invite faithfulness and capacity so that Christ's love might flourish in our midst.

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