Support the Café
Search our site

Speaking to the Soul: Eluding our Grasp

Speaking to the Soul: Eluding our Grasp

3 Easter, Year One

[Go to Mission St Clare for an online version of the Daily Office including today’s scripture readings.]

 

Today’s Readings for the Daily Office:
Psalms 25 (morning) // 9, 15 (evening)

Daniel 4:19-27

1 John 3:19-4:6

Luke 4:14-30

In some ways, the conclusion of today’s gospel passage is something we’d expect from a post-resurrection appearance, and yet it occurs at the very outset of Jesus’s ministry. When a raging crowd drives Jesus out of town and to the edge of a cliff, Jesus somehow manages to pass “through the midst of them” and go on his way. How does the body of Jesus slip through everyone’s fingers?

As our gospels at the Sunday Eucharists this Easter have shown, the nature of Jesus’s post-resurrection body is difficult to grasp. But as today’s gospel shows, it’s in Jesus’s very nature to elude people’s grasp. The audience in today’s gospel has extreme trouble wrapping their heads around Jesus’s proclamation of a non-ethnocentric mission.

The people are listening to Jesus teach in his hometown of Nazareth. They seem impressed with Jesus, but perhaps Jesus detects their pride and attachment to Jesus as one of their own. They think they have some special claim on him, and they may have some extra investment in his success.

But Jesus points out that a hometown should not be the center of prophetic ministry. Jesus reminds the people who watched him grow up that the prophet Elijah could have fed many widows during Israel’s years of famine, and yet he was sent to a widow outside of Israel. Likewise, the prophet Elisha could have healed many Israeli lepers, and yet he healed a leper in Syria.

If we focus too intently on our special claim to Jesus, and on what Jesus can do for us, then his teaching and his spirit and his resurrected body will elude our grasp. He might pass right through us on his way somewhere else. How is God inviting us to unfurl our fingers and reach for Jesus in our midst and on his way?

Lora Walsh blogs about taking risks and seeking grace at A Daily Scandal. She serves as curate of Grace Episcopal Church in Siloam Springs and as director of the Ark Fellows, an Episcopal Service Corps  program sponsored by St. Paul’s in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Dislike (0)
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Facebooktwitterrss
Support the Café
Past Posts
2020_001

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café