Jesus is in his own town through this narrative – he’s in his own backyard and he speaks words of hope and challenge to his own context about what God is doing and is about to do: the mission of God at work in his neighbourhood and world. A declaration of justice, righteousness, transformation and reconciliation is what it’s all about: this is good news for his town! But, it’s a challenging message too.
A Kiwi backyard is the sort of dream and ideal for us to obtain as New Zealanders, but do we really know our neighbourhoods and neighbours, or is the dream about shutting others out? What fences have we created that allow injustice, poverty, imprisonment, fear, and prejudice to continue in our communities, and what is Jesus asking us to do about it? Drawn on a window, looking out on a backyard, the image displays both the reality of imprisonment, and freedom for our children. Will we allow Jesus to challenge our ‘backyard’; our worldview and our physical neighbourhoods and discover what it means to walk with him and others ‘into true lightness of spirit’?