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John 4:43-45, Jesus Returns to Galilee

Monday, February 5

You Can't Go Home Again

Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.

Jesus knew what so many take a lifetime to master. It's the reality that you can never go home again. This tiny phrase has wrapped in it so much meaning. One's home is never the same. One's self is never the same. And at the same time, one's relationship to home seems to remain unchanged, no matter how many years pass.

For Jesus' family and friends, he would always be little Jesus. That kid who scared his parents half to death when he ran away to the temple. That kid who couldn't get enough of the teachings of his faith. That kid who tried to learn his father's craft, even though it never quite fit him. How could they now see a man who was changing the tide of their entire society with his words and actions? Who was speaking with such wisdom, even the scholars of the day were perplexed? No, at home he would always be that kid.

I have a kid who's 21 and has his own place. I've promised never to pop in unannounced, so mostly I just delight in those moments when he pops in unannounced. I admit, it's a challenge not to treat him like he's still 16. It's not that I don't know he's becoming an adult. It's more that my exposure to him is brief and occasional. So I don't get to see him grow up. I don't get to see his struggles and the unraveling of his anguish as he works it out himself. I don't get to see how he manages his relationships. Or how he budgets his money or his time. Or how he eats. Or takes care of his health. So when I do see him, time for us has barely passed, even if it's been weeks since his last visit.

So I just give him a great big hug and I listen to his stories. I keep my mouth shut when I'm tempted to fix whatever challenge he's facing today. 'Cause it's not mine to fix anymore. And I try to see a man where a child once stood. I can't speak for his experience of stepping foot into his childhood home as a young man. But I can say that I'm truly enjoying watching him become someone I don't know, even though it's painful not to know him. I trust in the parenting I've invested and hope that he continues to become the man I know he can be. The man that changes the world, or at least his corner of it.

Narrative Lectionary Text: John 4:43-45

When the two days were over, he went from that place to Galilee (for Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in the prophet’s own country). When he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, since they had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the festival; for they too had gone to the festival.

Earlier Event: February 4
John 4:1-42, The Woman at the Well
Later Event: February 6
John 4:46-54, Healing Stories