Saturday, December 21, 2019

21...and lived among us...

We are often surprised when anything extraordinary – good or bad – happens close to us. We are proud of our own local heroes simply because they are local. Their success might have had nothing to do with us but we enjoy the reflected glory. “Who would have thought that an Olympic sportsperson would live next door to me!” We are horrified, though, if a neighbour turns out to be a notorious criminal. “You don’t expect things like that to happen around here!” we say. Yet everything has to happen somewhere.

In Jesus, says John, God comes to us where we are, hallowing the places that we might think are ordinary, or even “God-forsaken”. Nazareth was a small settlement, with nothing particular to recommend it. “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” asked one man, Nathaniel, when Jesus’ disciples told him that they had found the Messiah. (John 1.46) When he met Jesus, he was forced to re-evaluate that prejudice. God could be at work, even in this unlikely place!

Has anything noteworthy – good or bad - happened in the places where you have lived? What are the stories which have been told about those places?
Have you ever encountered a famous person in an unlikely place – on the train, in a shop, on holiday…What did it feel like? What did you do?
Jesus found that the people of Nazareth were among the most resistant to his message (see Luke 4.16-30). Why do you think this might have been?

The Bible says that when we welcome and care for others we are welcoming Jesus in them. Make a “welcome” sign for your house, so that all your visitors feel cared for.

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