Friday, March 16, 2012
Living Out Nazareth
My meditation and prayer today led me back to Nazareth. Nathaniel once posed the question: "Can anything of good come from Nazareth?" (John 1:46) Well, we can easily say yes because of our faith. Even if Jesus and his Holy Family are the only good to come from there, that would certainly be enough.
While we do not know much about Nazareth or Jesus' young life there, we know enough to garner a good example from Him and His life there.
So, if you will, journey back with me to this sleepy little village in Galilee...
We are in the humble home of the Holy family. Mary lives her days as any Jewish woman going about the business of keeping the home, and being a wife to Joseph and mother to Jesus. Joseph is a carpenter using his skills to provide for his family and passing those skills on to his foster Son. As Jesus grew, he most likely ventured into the town with Joseph to perhaps sell their wares.
And while Jesus learned the skills of carpentry from Joseph, He knew the will of His Father in Heaven, and this He learned through His times of quiet prayer. Jesus was obedient to Joseph and Mary, and He knew that He was to lead a life of service and humble generosity.
Jesus is now thirty years of age, and it is time for Him to leave this home He has grown up in. He takes with Him all He has learned and cultivated in this place. As He ventures out into nearby and distant towns and villages, He will continue to find times of quiet prayer with His Father, and He will continue to live a life of service and generosity finally to give it all on the Cross.
Jesus lived Nazareth wherever He went. This is His example for us. Even though we live in a noisy, fast-paced world, we can create our Nazareths wherever we are. In order to grow in wisdom and love in our life with Christ, we need to find times of quiet prayer with Him. Then we need to forth from those times and places of prayer and contemplation living lives of humble service and generosity.
It is possible and it is necessary if we are to. like Jesus, grow in favor before God and Man.
Psalm 45: Canticle of Love to the King
My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.
Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
In Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under You;
Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.
Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.