Unwanted Prophets

When they heard this, everyone in the synagogue was filled with anger. They rose up and ran him out of town. They led him to the crest of the hill on which their town had been built so that they could throw him off the cliff. (Luke 4:28, 29 CEB)

I see a correlation with how we respond to prophetically emphatic voices today. They rise up with a passionate emphasis on one image or aspect of the gospel. It sounds skewed because of the emphasis – it’s not the whole thing, just a part of which we need reminding. Though it is only an emphasis, it is the word if God. We don’t like the emphasis. It’s indicting and seemingly arrogant and disrespectful. So we get angry, lead them out, and try to throw them off a cliff. Or simply wish in some other way to silence their annoying and hostility-provoking voice.

Whole context:

Jesus went to Nazareth, where he had been raised. On the Sabbath he went to the synagogue as he normally did and stood up to read. The synagogue assistant gave him the scroll from the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me . He has sent me to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to liberate the oppressed, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. He rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the synagogue assistant, and sat down. Every eye in the synagogue was fixed on him. He began to explain to them, “Today, this scripture has been fulfilled just as you heard it.” Everyone was raving about Jesus, so impressed were they by the gracious words flowing from his lips. They said, “This is Joseph’s son, isn’t it?” Then Jesus said to them, “Undoubtedly, you will quote this saying to me: ‘Doctor, heal yourself. Do here in your hometown what we’ve heard you did in Capernaum.’” He said, “I assure you that no prophet is welcome in the prophet’s hometown. And I can assure you that there were many widows in Israel during Elijah’s time, when it didn’t rain for three and a half years and there was a great food shortage in the land. Yet Elijah was sent to none of them but only to a widow in the city of Zarephath in the region of Sidon. There were also many persons with skin diseases in Israel during the time of the prophet Elisha, but none of them were cleansed. Instead, Naaman the Syrian was cleansed.” When they heard this, everyone in the synagogue was filled with anger. They rose up and ran him out of town. They led him to the crest of the hill on which their town had been built so that they could throw him off the cliff. (Luke 4:16-29 CEB)

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Jon Foreman and the Lord’s Prayer

I’m appreciating (for about a year now) Jon Foreman‘s slightly revised version of the Lord’s Prayer as it appears in his song “Your Love is Strong” (2008). The line that traditionally is translated “lead us not into temptation” has new richness to me as Foreman says, “keep us far from our vices.” Those of us who know our own brands of sin well can find significant meaning in this plea.

The entire song is based upon the Lord’s Prayer. I encourage you to check it out. Below is just the bridge. Blessings, Jonathan

Our God in heaven

Hallowed be thy name above all names

Your Kingdom come, Your will be done

On earth as it is in heaven

Give us today our daily bread

Forgive us weary sinners

Keep us far from our vices

And deliver us from these prisons

“How Faith Works” a sermon on James 2:1-17

This is a video of our 11:07 service from last Sunday at Shalimar United Methodist Church. I preached this sermon, had the service recorded, and submitted it as part of the requirements for ordination in the United Methodist Church.

Thanks for watching. Grace and peace.