Saturday, September 11, 2010

Prophets (and Others) Welcome Only Elsewhere

“I tell you the truth,” [Jesus] said, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown.”

~Luke 4:24 (NIV).

This is a resounding truth for anyone who’s ever struggled for credit or the appropriate notoriety—relating to their vocation—amongst their peers and families.

If Jesus suffered the ignominy of derision at Nazareth, we will too. Indeed, he uses examples of super-prophets of the Old Testament in Elijah and Elisha to propound the truth; they were ignored in their hometowns too.

Humanity from the familial-social context is at times an unpredictably fickle beast.

But there’s good reason for this.

The lesson for us is this: we just need to appreciate that it’s God’s will for us to learn in these contexts more of the virtue of humility—and to just be ourselves in any event. No matter the lofty heights of achievement we’ve attained we will just best be ourselves to those who know us most closely.

Isn’t it great that we can be at home with these people, entirely free of pretence?

Perhaps God is also using people close to us to remind us, that of all things we are more just people than the identity our work or achievements attaches to us. And this is what we are; the person to them that God also sees—devoid of the need to be seen as a particular sort of person... just a person... a special person beyond that thing or things we sometimes confine ourselves to.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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