This will be on the “Back Page” of the bulletin for Fishkill United Methodist Church this Sunday, 3 February 2019 (4th Sunday after the Epiphany, Year C)
This is not the question that Jesus asked His disciples, but rather the question each of us asks those we meet.
When Jesus spoke before the people in the synagogue in Nazareth and said that He had come to fulfill the Law, the people did not believe Him. After all, Jesus was only the carpenter’s son and, by inference, incapable of being the Messiah. A little while later, Philip would tell Nathaniel that they had found the Messiah and that it was Jesus of Nazareth. To which Nathaniel replied, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”
Throughout the ages, people have always identified people by where they were from, their race, their gender, their economic status, and their religion. But it always seemed as if it were done with the assumption that those who are somehow different from us are less worthy.
On August 8, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke of one day when all the children of this country (and the world) would be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.
A few years later, as I prepared to become a classroom teacher, I watched a video in which a sculpture spoke of finding what was in the stone and not trying to make something from the stone.
God told Isaiah that He knew Isaiah before Isaiah was and what he would do when he grew up. God’s words apply to each one of us and all whom we would meet.
But none of this can ever happen if we hold onto our old ways, the ways of exclusion and ignorance. And, as Paul told the Corinthians, unless we have Christ in our lives, if we do not love each other, we shall never give up our old way, no matter what we may say or do.
But in accepting Christ, we cast aside the old ways and begin a new life, a life in which each person can reach their own goals, not limited by what society may say or do. ~~Tony Mitchell