Rev Michael Barnes, 3/2/19
You Can’t Return Home
Home is utterly important. It’s where we are first loved and learn how to love; where we develop a sense of who we are and how to relate to others; where we imbibe important values and form an intelligible worldview.
Home is crucial; it may also constrain us.
In Luke 4, we read about Jesus’ homecoming. Here was a local lad who was doing well, making his mark in the public arena, even performing miracles, and putting Nazareth on the map. His kith and kin appreciated this, and would continue to, as long as he remained loyal to their worldview, and acknowledged their claims on him.
Initially, they spoke well of him, but when he spoke provocatively in a way that was anything but homely, they responded with outrage.
He had demonstrated to them he had no further use for their definitions of him or of God.
Their rapid change from affection to violence is arresting. It tells us how much was at stake, and how powerful an ordered sense of home is.
At its best, home prepares us for life and the world. When our parents do their job well, we can and need to leave home; not forsaking it but journeying onwards to build a new home.
Jesus’ offence at Nazareth that day was his refusal to adhere to a homely God. He left that behind.
We need to do likewise.