Seeking acceptance is a fairly common human phenomenon. Not being accepted is something all of us may have encountered at some time in our life or another. For some all too often!
Well, we are in good company. Jesus in this coming Sunday’s Gospel lesson, Mark 6:1-13, was also rejected, this time by the people of his own hometown of Nazareth. Jesus came back to the people who had known him when he was young. This in itself is sometimes difficult for anyone who has been gone from a place for a significant period of time, when they come home there is a new “learning curve” that needs to happen and often does not. Kids come back home after 4 or more years of college, family members return home after having built and developed a life elsewhere. When they come home and begin to talk like the person they have now become, those at home may hear things differently than they did before.
This is what happened to Jesus. He came back and shared the ministry he had begun with his baptism by John in the river Jordan and the home town folks we amazed. I do not blame them either. Jesus came back and began speaking as a prophet and as one of their leaders and the questions were raised, “who is this,” and especially “who is this that speaks with such authority?”
They had difficulty accepting the power that Jesus showed them he now had—the power to heal, the power to forgive, and the power to speak as if he were God. Well, as you know, that is exactly who he was and is. I cut the people of Nazareth a lot of slack because I know, and probably you do as well, it is very difficult to listen when God is speaking!
But God does speak to you and to me, we are an extension of the 12 that he sent out to share the word of God to others. Our message? We have been accepted by our God and given the privilege of carrying that message of forgiveness and love to the people around us.
Rejoice, knowing you are loved!
Peace, Pastor Jerry