They Took Offense – Good News for July 31

31 07 2009

Matthew 13:54-58

Jesus came to his native place and taught the people in their synagogue. They were astonished and said, “Where did this man get such wisdom and mighty deeds? Is he not the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother named Mary and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? Are not his sisters all with us? Where did this man get all this?”

And they took offense at him.

But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and in his own house.” And he did not work many mighty deeds there because of their lack of faith.

The Daily Path: “And they took offense at him”

Last evening my father told me a story about how he once invited two men of color to an event hosted by an organization he belonged to. During the 1960’s this same organization was very active in the community, often doing good works in all parts of the city where we lived.

At one point during the event a man who had known my father for many years questioned him about the wisdom of his action. The same man, who professed to be Dad’s friend, then went off and spoke to some other members who clearly had taken offense to this perceived “transgression” of the organization’s unspoken “rules”. These “gentlemen” asked to talk with my father outside where he was met with more criticism and a verbal assault for bringing non-whites to the gathering.

“Who do you think you are?” one asked.

Another even went to so far as to repeatedly poke his index finger accusingly into my father’s chest to accentuate his displeasure.

How is it that a group of individuals can act in wisdom with one breath, yet demonstrate total ignorance with the next?

Why does “ME” so often take offense at what “ME” doesn’t understand?

Why can’t “ME” have enough faith to just be “me”?

Room to Chat: Lord, grant me the vision to always see your way and the wisdom to understand it.

our_lady2


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2 responses

1 08 2009
danieljtomlinson

I love it that you are a Catholic, and I’m a Protestant. It’d be even more perfect if one of us was of African-American origins, but nonetheless we feed each other with Divine eternal food that frequently nourishes us.

My brother Jeremy and his wife Crystal are in Kazakhstan right now ministering to Christians there, and it’s empowering to know that the God who is pastoring through them on the other side of the world is pastoring me through you over the internet.

He is so holy, and He makes us holy in the same vein because we are created in His image, black or white.

Grace and peace my dear friend.

1 08 2009
Kin Robles

Daniel,

One of the early lessons I learned from my parents is that we are all joined together as human beings. I recall the day as a very young boy that they took me to a civil rights rally where another boy and me held hands as we sang the old spiritual that became the theme for the civil rights movement in the 1960’s “We Shall Overcome.”

In that moment I vividly remember noting that his little hand was as soft and warm as mine. We were two little kids joined in being small people among a sea of big adults. My new friend was African-American. He was just as intimidated as me by all that was going on around us. I never saw him again nor do I even recall his name. However, I do wonder if he remembers that day as I do… and can still feel my hand in his.

Your note reminds me that we are all children of God. Although Daniel, Jeremy and Kin live in different parts of the world and worship under a different roof, we are joined in our common bond of human imperfection and faith in Our Lord.

Peace be with you as well, my brother in Christ.

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