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January 31 | Mark 6:1-6


 

DAILY READING

 

REFLECTION


How would you act?

by Kim Starr


Recently, I watched a movie about two women who had been best friends since high school. They’d gone to college together, graduated, moved to the Silicon Valley, and created a very successful app which had been written about in prestigious news publications. Over the holidays, they went home and ran into some of their high school classmates. This made both quite anxious because, back in high school, they did not feel like they fit in; they weren’t in any clubs, they didn’t participate in sports, and they did not go to school events, like dances.


Their surprise at being welcomed by their former classmates made them even more uncomfortable, primarily because they couldn't believe the classmates even knew who they were. It turns out that their classmates now see them as human beings, appreciate them for who they are, and enjoy their company. The classmates don’t even talk to them about their app, but simply want to include them in the town’s and classes’ holiday festivities. Once the two friends get over the shock of being treated so nicely, they remove their preconceived notions about their classmates, get to know them better, and enjoy their time celebrating the holidays with them.

 

Jesus did not have the same reception when he went home. Jesus had been preaching in the area, so it was natural for him, and his disciples, to continue his ministry trip in Nazareth. However, unlike the girls’ classmates in the movie, the townspeople of Nazareth treated Jesus

with scorn and disbelief.


While they realized Jesus had extraordinary wisdom and power, they could not get over the fact that Jesus was simply a carpenter’s son who grew up in their midst. They could not get past the little boy they remembered and accept him for who he was: the son of God. They were offended by him, and believed Jesus had no right to teach them, accuse them, tell them to repent, or encourage them to believe in him. As a result, most of the Nazarenes rejected Jesus and chose not to believe in him.

 

When you are in a situation like the classmates or the Nazarenes, how do you choose to act? Do you scoff, rebuke, or criticize? Or do you welcome, reassure, or bolster? Jesus did not let the Nazarenes’ rejection of him hold him back. He left Nazareth and continued his mission of teaching, healing, and ministry.


PRAYER

Dear Jesus, thank you for continuing your endeavors to bring people to you. Thank you for showing us how to keep our eye on the main goal. Thank you for showing us how to persevere, even when we’re hurt. When given the opportunity, help us be more like the classmates in the movie than like the Nazarenes. Accepting people, enjoying them, and learning from them is a far better choice. Amen.







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