Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


Locked out of his hometown

In tomorrow's Gospel reading, Jesus returns to his hometown after having begun his ministry on the road. Rather than being welcomed as a returned hero, Jesus finds much disbelief among those who know him best. In a July of 2000 sermon on this passage for St. Athanasius Church in Brunswick, I preached that
As Jesus taught, the people listened to his words about the Kingdom of God come near. He called them to repent and believe in the Good News. But the Good News Jesus offered was too much for the people of Nazareth to swallow. He might have gotten straight “A”s at Nazareth Elementary, but that didn’t qualify him for “Son of God.” The crowd asked, “Where did this man get all this?”
The upshot was that "Jesus of Nazareth was no longer welcome in Nazareth." The reason was that the people of Nazareth knew Jesus too well as a human—a boy and then a man—to readily accept him as Messiah and Lord.

The sermon went on to say,
It was, therefore, as a plain old Joe that Jesus experienced life in Nazareth, with all its joys and sorrows, just like everybody else. And that is the Good News from this morning’s Gospel. Jesus, the Son of God, knows our joys and our sorrows better than a distant God ever could. Because we do not worship a distant God. We do not worship a God who can’t understand us. We worship a God who has lived among us. We worship a God who knows our joys. We worship a God who knows our pain. We worship a living God who has lived among us.

After all, it was there in Nazareth that Jesus mourned as his adopted father Joseph died. So Jesus understands when we mourn for our family and friends who die. It was in Nazareth, that Jesus first felt the temptation to sin and came to understand the temptations. So Jesus understands the various temptations we will all face this coming week. Jesus knows the pain of a family torn apart, as his own family was torn by his calling to live as God among us. Jesus knows all the broken parts of our human lives and loves us anyway. And it is to that Jesus that we pray and through him that we receive the forgiveness of his loving father, our God and creator.
The full text of the sermon is found in the archives here: Local Boy Does Good.

The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor + King of Peace Episcopal Church


  • At 7/08/2006 4:09 PM, Blogger Laura said…

    There are medieval legends and songs that portray the infant or young Jesus performing miracles, causing the cherry tree to bow down to his mother, or building a bridge out of sunbeams so the other children would play withhim. But I don't think so! I picture a sturdy and bright child playing with his brothers and sisters, making friends, learning carpentry at Joseph's side, studying Scripture--a normal Jewish child of the times.


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