when i saw the buffalo
wandering on the range
i was filled with
at the hundreds of
specks in the distant
they looked like
of course kitchen
in the green green
grasses or lying down
near the boiling mud.
Jesus said to the people in the synagogue at Nazareth:
"Amen, I say to you,
no prophet is accepted in his own native place.
Indeed, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel
in the days of Elijah
when the sky was closed for three and a half years
and a severe famine spread over the entire land.
It was to none of these that Elijah was sent,
but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon.
Again, there were many lepers in Israel
during the time of Elisha the prophet;
yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian."
When the people in the synagogue heard this,
they were all filled with fury.
They rose up, drove him out of the town,
and led him to the brow of the hill
on which their town had been built,
to hurl him down headlong.
But he passed through the midst of them and went away.
Breath Prayer: On inhale-peaceful, On exhale-refuge
Today was primarily focused on centering prayer and recapturing my peaceful refuge whenever my monkey mind would go off track. But my thoughts about this scripture are pretty interesting! I was thinking of the local kid who does good and comes home. They have parades, invite him to speak at the rotary club, and give him the key to the city. They are generally treated well. I am going to venture to say, here, that Jesus comes across with a little attitude. I know Luke’s agenda is to make Jesus the healer of those who are downtrodden, but jeepers! Did he have to pit Jesus against the people that love him? Do I really think Jesus would use these words, “there were many widows in Israel…?”
Widow is one of those key words that pop up over and over again in the Hebrew Scripture along with orphan and stranger/alien. It pops up whenever the Israelites have gone off of God’s script and started to forget that God wants the widow, the orphan, and the stranger among us cared for. Loved. Accepted. Incorporated into the community. Are we to really believe that Jesus says a big “so what” to the widows of Israel? If it is true, then yes, the people would be furious. And perhaps they would have a right to be furious. It does not seem to be a very pastoral way to deliver the message that Jesus has come to minister to those outside of the community.
I wonder what the ways are that we deliver news to our own communities…family, work, friends, school…that is less than gracious? I wonder where our own responsibility lies in receiving difficult news? I wonder where our own responsibility lies in delivering difficult news? I wonder if this example set by Jesus is really a good example to follow?