Year C Epiphany 4: Early reflections on Luke 4:21-30

Once upon a time, a boy was born, and he grew up in a regular-sized town, and the people who knew people knew him – the teachers and the coaches and the librarians, the grocers and the beat cops, his neighbours and the local pastor – they saw him grow up, they knew who he was, where he came from.

And as he grew older, he developed these incredible talents. He had a gift – no, he had gifts galore. His reputation spread around the region as someone who had the gleam of greatness. All spoke well of him, and they expected great things. And when he was at home, the people who’d watched him grow up said, “Hey, look, it’s our boy! Turned out ok, right?” And the people who hadn’t noticed him growing up, they had heard the rumours of greatness, too, and they sat up and paid attention and said, “Hey, look, he’s our boy! He’s one of us! We know his people, he knows our place. As he grows into greatness, he will take us with him; we will rise with him and become great because of him.”

And the boy, the young man by now, looked around him, and he said, “You know me. You’ve seen me grow up. You know that I will always come from here, from you. But there are other people out there, there are other places that fall under God’s plan for greatness. This isn’t the only place that can use my special talents, and you aren’t the only people I can love.”

“So I’ve made a decision: I’m going to Miami.”

So ok, the comparison doesn’t stand up to too much scrutiny. There are some very subtle differences in the two stories. But still … it might help explain why they felt like throwing him off a cliff.


About Rosalind C Hughes

Rosalind C Hughes is a priest and author living near the shores of Lake Erie. After growing up in England and Wales, and living briefly in Singapore, she is now settled in Ohio. She serves an Episcopal church just outside Cleveland. Rosalind is the author of A Family Like Mine: Biblical Stories of Love, Loss, and Longing (Upper Room Books, 2020). She loves the lake, misses the ocean, and is finally coming to terms with snow.
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