"Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."
Looking around, we can see the neighbor who looked after Jesus when he was a little boy. And over there are some of Joseph's old customers, people who had hired Joseph and Jesus to do some carpentry work long ago. And there are some of the other kids from earlier days, all grown up now with families of their own. Gathered into the synagogue, they hear Jesus read from Isaiah about a servant of God who would bring restoration and peace. Then they hear him say that Isaiah's prophecy is being fulfilled before their very eyes. Jesus is the servant whom Isaiah was talking about! Everyone is amazed at the hometown boy who will do great things!
But in a flash they turn against him and try to kill him. The people become furious as Jesus reminds them of an old story about the prophet Elijah, who was not welcome in Israel for a time and had to work among foreigners. The people hear Jesus saying that he will have to work among other peoples too, so they protest, "We are God's people, not the Gentiles! If you are a true servant of God, then you must be for us!"
Since my own ancestors are Gentiles (non-Jews), I give thanks that God's work in Jesus is for all peoples. Genealogies don't matter to God. Everyone is called to become a child of God.
Have you become part of the family?
O God, thank you for calling people of all nations to join your family through Jesus Christ! Thank you that we can be part of the family of God. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!