Lent Week Two: Jesus of Nazareth

By Rev. Bere Gil Soto - Sunday March 13, 2022

For the season of Lent this year, we will be following along with the Disciples Home Missions (DHM) Lenten Resource.  The complete booklet and previous DHM resources can be downloaded at https://www.discipleshomemissions.org/congregations/faith-formationchristian-education/resources/lent/

Below is the meditation and reflection questions for week two.

Week Two: Jesus of Nazareth

March 13th - 19th

My granny’s table has always been more than a place to eat, it is a place where the soul and the heart are nurtured too. The table is the most sacred place at their home; back in the day, when a friend or family would visit them, they would not sit in the living room. My granny would always invite them to table. She would offer them café con pan (or a whole meal!), and then they would talk for hours. Most visitors used to be folks from the rancho where they grew up; and names such as María, Juan, Marta, or José were common during that time. They would always refer to them as “Juan de…” and the street they lived in, or the parents/spouse they had, so they could know who they were talking about.

Although Jesus’ name has a strong and powerful meaning, “Yahweh is salvation,” truth is that it was a common name too in ancient times. That is why I think there is such a beauty in knowing him as Jesus of Nazareth; it is beautiful and powerful to know that Jesus was a man of his people, and that his people knew him. We know that Jesus had friends, we know that Jesus belonged somewhere, we know he was a human being with a story.

Within our story, we carry the places where we are from and even though sometimes those places are not pleasant, they are a part of our story. Nazareth was not a great city. Actually, some people even doubted if anything good could come out of there (John 1:46); however, when Jesus embraced everything that made him who he was, the streets that formed him, the friendships he may have had, the poverty in which he grew up, he did not see his story just as a painful liability.

Now, I know we all come from places, and sometimes these are hurtful places. Perhaps physical and geographical places were not pleasant. Perhaps emotional, psychological and even spiritual places have hurt us and tried to diminish and belittle us. But just like Jesus, the places where we come from can be redeemed and transformed, but we must know them.

So, as we walk towards the cross and encounter our own humanity yearning for new life, we ought to take time to reflect on where we are from. We must take time to heal the wounds of the places we have been hurt. We must let God redeem our story.

So… where you from?

Author: Rev. Bere Gil Soto
Iglesia Hermandad Cristiana, Indianapolis, IN
National Benevolent Association as Convener for Peer Learning and Wellness Groups

Week Two: Reflections

  1. Where are you from and what is said about that place?

  2. What lasting memories do you have about your beginnings?

  3. In what ways are you/were you known at home?

  4. Where is redemption needed and possible?

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