Tuesday last, there was a reopening of the arch grounds in St. Louis. What I saw in the video of the event was the elderly daughter of Arch architect Eero Saarinen, standing amid a long line of dignitaries struggling to cut an oversized ribbon with an oversized scissors. However, others saw there was not a single person of color among them. Two days later another ribbon cutting was held featuring mostly people of color redoing the ceremony. This has engendered much debate in the public media.
What we see or don’t see is important. In Mark 6:1-6, Jesus comes home to Nazareth. He has just come off a series of events in which he stilled a storm, cleansed a man of a demon infestation, was touched by a woman with a twelve-year discharge of blood. And raised a twelve -year-old girl back to life. Who could doubt that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God?
What did the folks at Nazareth see? Not the Messiah. Not the Son of God. They saw one of Joe and Mary’s five boys plus his sisters. How could their kid have done these works? Where did he get such wisdom?
Jesus, the hometown boy, marveled how they were offended and refused to believe. It’s in that context, that Jesus sends out his disciples with the news of the Gospel. Some will see them as bringers of God’s kingdom and others will see them as spouting nonsense. So, it is still today.