The glory of God is often revealed when and where it is least expected. God uses our lips to declare that glory, inexperienced and hesitant though they may be. God uses our love to demonstrate that glory and so urges us to exercise it. God uses Jesus of Nazareth, water and the word, bread and wine, to reveal God’s glory where and when God chooses. Take heed, lest the glory of God slip through our midst unnoticed.
Readings and Psalm
- Jeremiah 1:4-10
I appointed you a prophet to the nations
- Psalm 71:1-6
From my mother’s womb you have been my strength. (Ps. 71:6)
- 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
If I speak without love, I am a noisy gong
- Luke 4:21-30
Jesus says a prophet is not accepted in his hometown
Called to Domestic Disturbance
Jesus reads from the scriptures and is the talk of the town. At first, Jesus is seen as the hometown boy made good. Then something changes. Is it the mention of Jesus being the son of a local carpenter, Joseph? Does Jesus sense that people are proud of his learning but less eager to engage in his teachings? Is it that people’s expectations are raised—but now Jesus tells them that “no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown”? Jesus angers the crowd and is driven to a cliff and probable death. What does it mean for this hometown boy to create a domestic, and more to the point, a holy disturbance? God’s vision is certainly a challenge, and now Jesus, with the words of the prophets, is unleashing a disturbance in the domestic, tamed, controlled ways of the world and its powers. In the first lesson for today, Jeremiah recognizes the challenge of speaking a prophetic word and questions whether he is too young to take on God’s commission. Jesus steps into his role and finds challenge among his home community and those who have known him his whole life. In a strange twist, Jesus walks through this challenging crowd to safety.
Today, echoing Jeremiah and the psalmist, we sense a call or mission, even in the midst of dangers or among those who would do harm. Jesus and Jeremiah become key illustrations and open conversation of how we are formed, equipped, and called to live God’s agape love, even when surrounded by challenges, obstacles, or hostility. Where is God calling us? How must we confront our own or the community’s barriers? What prophetic word are we being called to speak that might cause a holy disturbance?