Original MP4 File
05 May 21
Too Big for Nazareth
There’s this myth, that we’re all different.
And another myth, that we’re all the same.
Twin myths begun when our world began.
I can’t tell you how you and I are... different.
I don’t know. We must be:
my mum wasn’t your mum.
Your dad wasn’t my dad.
And I can’t tell you about how we’re not... different.
I don’t know.
Did you live under rain and sloped-roofs?
Under sun and flat-roofs?
On the ground?
In the money or in the gutter?
I can’t tell.
I can only ask.
Who could you marry? And never marry?
What could you eat? And never eat?
What could you say? And what could you never say?
Do we always belong where we grew up?
Truly, truly, do you think our God-Man
ever belonged in Nazareth, to Nazareth;
with a start like the one He had?
With a mother so political?
With a step-dad sooo not Macho?
…..with an Unknown Father hovering?
with the endless, small-town gossiping,
the age-old, dirty muddling of Us and Them...
Do you think Jesus got used to it, that wittering?
Had it washed off. Or had it stuck?
What did our God-Man feel, going back to there?
Did it feel like a big thing?
Did it feel like a little thing?
Was it a little thing?
After those temptations in the high places,
what was Nazareth?
What lets our God-Man see:
“I can heal everywhere, but not here.
I can feed everyone, but not you.
I can cleanse other lepers. But not yours.”?
What is that dirty divide that God can’t cross?
What has Nazareth made so strong that Love can’t cross?
Was it then, proclaiming The Year of His Favour,
that He suddenly saw their robust sameness?
What was different that day?
Same-stale-ideas. Same-old-lies. Same. Same. Same.
The not-growing. The never-growing. The rage, growing.
As He proclaimed His Year of Favour,
did He understand, for good, His utter otherness?
Do you have to leave home to see it?
And then do you have to come home?
Is this how it always happens?
Does one go home and see nothing has changed
but everything is smaller?
Did He go home and think,
‘Ah, they are so small; they will never fit. I will never fit!”?
What opens ones eyes to outsider-ness?
To belonging, outside?
To belonging nowhere and everywhere?
When you first notice the sameness of others;
glimpse the purity-beyond-difference,
can you ever be at home back home-again?
There is one more age-old Myth:
We are different.
We are special.
We know about you.
You are all the same!”
How little...and dirty!
And not true, is it?
Starve us and we die. And so do you.
Stab you and you die. And we do too.
Feed you and you thrive. And we do too.
Love us and we live. And so do you.
Wash us, and we’re all clean.
In what way, more, need we be the same
when Our Father is Our Father?
But this was too big!
Too big for Nazareth.
Could a little thing ever happen to Jesus?
Do little things ever happen?
©Lucy Berry – Permission granted for use solely by, or for, Christian Aid.
Otherwise, on application to the author.