February 7, 2007

God's Way with Strangers

I was in a ballad mood today, and the following popped into my head. When I got home I checked my Inbox to find reference to a wonderful meditation by ++KJS in which she speaks of Christ as the welcomed stranger. As my ballad reflects on the reverse — that God seems from time to time to shed special blessings on strangers — I thought it might be worth sharing this ballad on the other half of the picture; and remember also as I do so that wonderful hymn text, that assures us in the breaking of the bread, “strangers now are friends.” Blessings to all, and thanks be to God who loves us strangers all.

Home Town Prophet

When Jesus went to his home town
the people gathered round;
he spoke to them in words of grace,
but they didn’t like the sound.

“Why don’t you do a miracle,”
they said, “some magic trick;
like cure a leper, raise the dead,
or heal someone who’s sick?

He said, “When prophets worked God’s might
in Israel of old,
it wasn’t for the Israelites
but those outside the fold.

The leper was a Syrian,
the bread a Sidonite’s,
God’s grace was shed on strangers
rather than on Israelites.

It seems a prophet gets high praise
except in his home town...”
They took him to the cliff’s high edge
intent to throw him down.

“See here,” they said, “we’ll hear no more
this blasphemy you say!”
But passing through the midst of them
he went upon his way.

— Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG, Feb 8, 2007

1 comment:

June Butler said...

Tobias, man of many talents, do you ever put your ballads to music?

Bishop Katharine and you remind us that the church exists for those outside, the strangers.