Updated: Feb 1, 2022
Our hometowns, our families of origin, the places that formed us and the people we've known our whole lives can be both a deep source of comfort and a place of pain and stuckness, especially when we are trying to do something new, explore an emerging part of our identity, or claim a new vocation or direction in our lives. This is where we find Jesus in this week's gospel, at the beginning of his new ministry, claiming a new identity, teaching new ideas, and all in his hometown of Nazareth, in the synagogue he's gone to every sabbath for this whole life, with people who have known him since his childhood.
And why does he start it here? Maybe Jesus knew that of all the places in the world to start something new, to reveal your most authentic self, to share new ideas and hopes and possibilities, his hometown would be the hardest, but that if he could do it there he could do it anywhere. This is the challenge and opportunity of home, of family, of life-long relationships. Who are the people you find hardest to claim your authentic self with? Where are the places that make you feel most stuck? What would it be like to return to these relationship and/or places and reveal a little bit of your truth, or create a little bit of forward movement in them?