Nazareth… or East Peoria … or Lockport … or …

“Can anything good come from Nazareth?”

I love this line in the end of John’s first chapter.  I’ve heard it described as a joke and as a serious theological study.  The reality was that Nazareth wasn’t considered at the time anything special.  So, how could anything special like the Son of God come out of so ordinary of a place?  Nazareth really is no different than the town we each live in.  What is special about any one town?  Is one better than another?

As a wife and mother, I see that specialness in several places even if others can’t see it.  I can see that Lockport is special because that is the town my husband and I were married in and the town where my earliest memories are from.  Franklin, Wisconsin is special because that was the location of our first home we bought and then where we brought home our first daughter.  Maroa, Illinois is special because it is where we bought our second home and where we brought daughters two, three, four and five home from the hospital.  These towns for me mean so much more than just being a mark on a map.  They are memories.  Memories and dreams woven together and made special by their sheer being.

Such is the “good” from Nazareth.  Good can come from Nazareth because it is where Jesus was conceived during an angel’s visit.  And good comes from the time Jesus spent there growing into the man He would become — the man who would save the world not for our good, but to show God’s mercy and love.

So, can something good come from anyplace we are?  YES!  All it takes is perspective and perseverance.  Keeping an eye on Christ’s example will guide us so that we too can see and be the good that goes out into the world.  Who knows, maybe one day when we have done something spectacularly good, someone may say…”Can anything good come out of ______?”  That indeed, would be the highest praise.

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