Sunday, December 7, 2014

Can Anything Good Come From There?

God is full of surprises.  He draws good, profound things out of undistinguishable places and faces. Even "the one Moses wrote about in the Law and about whom the prophets also wrote [Jesus]" as Philip tells Nathaniel, emerges from Nazareth. Nathaniel is so shocked he instinctively blurts out, "Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?"

Philip's response to Nathaniel's bias is invitational not defensive.  He simply says, "Come and see." So Nathaniel, instead of remaining stuck and proud in his assumptions, accepts the invitation and discovers that good can come from Nazareth.  God surprises him.

Many of us have believed the lie that nothing good can come from _____________.  You fill in the blank.  We might insert our name, a particular neighborhood, a certain church, a group of people, a politician, a corporation, a country, a gender, an ethnicity, or any number of options.  But God is full of surprises.

During this Advent season, I am working on removing some of my biases about myself and others. It's uncomfortable but good which is how spiritual work often feels.  I don't want to live a life wrongly assuming or predicting the workings of God. Nathaniel almost missed the opportunity to be a disciple of Jesus simply due to his disregard for Nazareth.  Fortunately for him, he pushed through and encountered God's plan.  I want to do the same.

Do you?

Ex nihilo,

R.J. Rhoden