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Jan. 30 Gathering: Living on the cliffs of Nazareth

Cliffs overlooking Nazareth (photo by Joe Webb)

The story of Jesus’ first sermon in his hometown of Nazareth from Luke 4 that we discussed last week ends in bizarre fashion.

Right after hearing him lay out his “mission statement” from the prophet Isaiah, the hometown crowd is amazed at their native son’s insight and wisdom. They giddily anticipate that he’ll do even more for them than he has already done in Galilee, from which word of his miraculous healings has spread far and wide.

Yet Jesus turns the tables on the locals, warning them instead that they’re missing the point if they only view him as a magical healer. But the crowd, consumed by their desire for special favors from one of their own, turns on Jesus and tries to throw him over a cliff.

The voices of the prophets are seldom welcome in the world, but it seems from this passage that they’re even less welcome when the prophets themselves are weighed down with expectations from the existing power structures.

So what happens when whole communities organize around Jesus’ prophetic call for justice and liberation rather than consumeristic comfort and institutional preservation?

Will our institutions embrace us for our innovation, only to cut ties when our message threatens the status quo?

This week at New Wineskins, we’ll pick up on our discussions about living in a prophetic moment and how we can call our institutions to stand up for justice and liberation.

6:00pm EST: Happy Half-Hour (informal meet & greet time)
6:30pm EST: Presentation & conversation begin

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