A familiar heresy

[First, a definition.  A heresy is a belief that goes outside of the mainstream, accepted teaching of the group.]

In the first part of our Gospel reading, Jesus confronts a familiar heresy.  No, really…

it’s a heresy about familiarity.

Long ago, the Christian confession landed squarely on the teaching of a doctrine know as the Incarnation, that God comes in human form in Jesus of Nazareth.  And the heresy against Incarnation (God made flesh) goes like this: 

God couldn’t possibly be nearby–God is far away, maybe even unreachable, except for a lucky few.

God couldn’t possibly be contained, limited like we are, born in a human form–God is beyond all categories, divided from humanity, nothing like us.

And God couldn’t possibly show up in the everyday circumstances of life as we know it–Because, come on!  God is way too busy doing important things to care about little.old.me.

I believe that was the root dilemma in Jesus’ hometown, as presented in our Gospel reading.  This heresy of familiarity:  Jesus was too familiar to be holy.  He was too known to be divine.  He was just too regular, and because of the unbelief of those who knew him, Jesus’ powers were limited.

Jesus, Lord of all, your reach knows no limits.  That we might see your fingerprints of healing on the mundane things, the everyday people, the rhythm of our own situations, and on us; we pray.  Amen.

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