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NazarethFirst? Nah!

The first time the people riot in Luke is in response to Jesus preaching in his hometown. (hinting at his eventual crucifixion by the state) There he proclaims the word of the Lord to the poor, lost, forgotten and marginalized.

He talks about that the Word of God, he says he is there to fulfill the word of God

and the People of Nazareth say “Great, me first”

Jesus says, “Nah”

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Then they get mad, because they want to be first. Because they think that if they don’t go first God won’t get to them.

It should be NazarethFirst or JewsFirst or AmericaFirst: Those who are the most entitled should go first in the human world.

Not to Jesus, tho, for Jesus says I’m helping the most needy ones, the forgotten ones.

During the inauguration speech the only piece I felt like struck home was when Donald Trump said was “No one will ever be ignored again”

Do not be confused, we humans often look for a human savior/king. Lots of the Old Testament is about humans begging God for a King they don’t need. When Donald Trump did his alter call for patriotism, insisting that it negated all prejudice, we Christians all shook our heads and said. Only JESUS does that. God calls not to nationalism, but to the forgotten ones.

Do not put your trust in princes, in mortals, in whom there is no help. When their breath departs, they return to the earth;  on that very day their plans perish.–Psalm 146

Because people DO feel forgotten! About 3 million women gathered on all 7 continents and march to draw attention to all that gets ignored. If that isn’t a counter to blind nationalism I don’t know what is.

These women marched for a variety of reasons, and yet the same thing

They marched for

Women’s Rights, Black Lives matter, the queer community, the Muslims, the immigrants, poor in the rust belt, Flint water, Indigenous rights, survivors of assault, climate change, sex workers, the poor, the disabled, poor.They marched

They marched for their children and husbands and communities.

But most of all, they marched for the forgotten & ignored. 

Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God, who made heaven and earth,  the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith for ever;  who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free;  the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the strangers; he upholds the orphan and the widow, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.–Psalm 146

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Our God is the one who fights on behalf of these people. Our God is not a human or a politician, our God is the God of the marginalized, the lost and forgotten.

Jesus made that clear. Its not about being first or getting the most. Its about making sure NO ONE GETS IGNORED.

We need to do this work, the time has begun.

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Luke 4: 14- 30

14 Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. 15He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.

16 When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:

18 ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,

because he has anointed me

to bring good news to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives

and recovery of sight to the blind,

to let the oppressed go free,

19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’

20And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21Then he began to say to them, ‘Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’ 22All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, ‘Is not this Joseph’s son?’ 23He said to them, ‘Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, “Doctor, cure yourself!” And you will say, “Do here also in your home town the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.” ’ 24And he said, ‘Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s home town. 25But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up for three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land; 26yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. 27There were also many lepers* in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.’ 28When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. 29They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff. 30But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way.

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About katyandtheword

Pastor Katy has enjoyed ministry at New Covenant for 6 years, where the church has solidified its community focus. Prior to that she studied both Theology and Christian Formation at Princeton Theological Seminary. She also served as an Assistant Chaplain at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital and as the Christian Educational Coordinator at Bethany Presbyterian at Bloomfield, NJ. She enjoys working within and connecting to the community, is known to laugh a lot during service, and tells as many stories as possible. Pastor Katy loves reading Science Fiction and Fantasy, theater, arts and crafts, music, playing with children and sunshine, and continues to try to be as (w)holistically Christian as possible. "Publisher after publisher turned down A Wrinkle in Time," L'Engle wrote, "because it deals overtly with the problem of evil, and it was too difficult for children, and was it a children's or an adult's book, anyhow?" The next year it won the prestigious John Newbery Medal. Tolkien states in the foreword to The Lord of the Rings that he disliked allegories and that the story was not one.[66] Instead he preferred what he termed "applicability", the freedom of the reader to interpret the work in the light of his or her own life and times. "Hallows, not Horcruxes" Harry Potter

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