They replied, "Surely, you are not also from Galilee, are you? Search and you will see that no prophet is to arise from Galilee."
The year is 1967. My father, who teaches at a university in Georgia, has an opportunity for a year's sabbatical. He chooses to study at Harvard where we can be close to our relatives who all reside in Massachusetts.
My brother and I are beside ourselves with excitement. Just imagine! A whole year with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
What could be better?
Then, it hits . . .
I have to leave my friends. My school. My home.
I'll have to make new friends. Attend a new school. Adjust to a new home.
The unknown is daunting. Especially, the prospect of school.
The day my mom takes me to the overwhelmingly sprawling junior high to register, my stomach has more knots than a boy scout knows how to tie.
As we enter the front office and Mom states our business, the secretary gives us a pleasant welcome and summons one of the counselors to help us.
A youthful, blonde woman with an engaging smile bounces into the office. After introducing herself as Mrs. McCormick, she assures us that the school will be delighted to have me this year.
I'm beginning to feel a wee bit better about the whole situation.
Then, Mom hands the counselor my transcript.
My Georgia transcript . . .
The winsome smile fades from the face of Mrs. McCormick. Her brow is knit with consternation.
After perusing it for what seems an eternity, she forces a smile. A condescending smile.
"All 'As", I see," she says, shooting a haughty glance in my direction. "But, advanced classes? I'm sorry, Mrs. Murdy. It is a well-known fact that Georgia schools, in fact, any schools in the south, are far inferior to those in New England. Frankly, I don't think your daughter can handle our advanced courses. You'll just be setting her up for failure."
What my Mom does next is nothing short of heroic.
"Mrs. McCormick," she begins, "I was born and raised in Massachusetts. I have lived in Atlanta, Georgia for nine years. I have yet to be disappointed in my daughter's curriculum or the quality and ability of her teachers. Your judgment of schools in the south is simply unfounded. My daughter will be placed in your advanced classes. If she fails, which she won't, the blame will rest with me, with her, not you."
I am silently applauding my Mom and turning cartwheels of joy in my heart.
Mrs. McCormick glares.
Mom stands her ground.
"Oh, alright then, Mrs. Murdy, if you insist, but please don't say you weren't warned. Our curriculum is one of the toughest in the nation. We hold extremely high expectations."
"So do I," Mom declares, then points to me. "And, so does she."
How does it all turn out by the end of the school year?
Suffice it to say, this girl perceived as a "Georgia Leech" is hailed by her teachers as a "Georgia Peach".
I earn all "A's" . . .
In every culture throughout history, prejudice is practiced by one group against another. Today's verse finds the aristocratic Pharisees of Jerusalem dismissing the peasantry of Galilee as incapable of producing anyone of worth, let alone a prophet.
Ensconced firmly in their misconstrued beliefs, they cannot see Jesus for who He truly is.
Deaf to His words.
Blind to His truth.
Dead to salvation.
Because, nothing good ever comes from the wrong side of the tracks . . .
Are your preconceived notions of other people keeping your from loving them as Christ loves?
Will you pray with me?
We are all, Father, subject to the prejudices and notions of the times in which we live. Help us to look beyond these. Give us the wisdom to see as You see, to hear as You hear, to love as You love. Make us ever mindful that judgment is in your hands alone. Amen.
Psalms 18:1-20 or 18:21-50
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