The lectionary text I have decided to wrestle with is Mark 6: 1-13.
Sometimes I wonder with the length of the reading. This one seems to include two stories that seem to not have much connection. The first one is about Jesus visiting his home town and the other has him sending out his disciples.
I guess you could split them apart and preach on one or the other but I want to see what happens when the two are kept together.
The return visit for Jesus is after he has had some time away and has been successful in attracting some followers and getting a crowd to form wherever he goes. Certainly the trip across the lade had some down side as the gentiles there were not interested in him staying in spite of the fact he helped the demonic. But he did do some power healing to Jairus's daughter and the suffering woman. So things are going well for Jesus. You'd think that he would be welcomed home with loving arms. Given ticker tape parade and everyone would say, " I remember him when he was this tall and now look at him." And another would say "Hey, Jesus, remember when we all snuck out that night and turned over old lady Roenkranz's outhouse?"
But no real welcome. There is a general put down of him and an attempt to 'put him in his place'. Why? In sports there is supposed to be a home field advantage. The team that plays on its home field is supposed to have the support of the home crowd, be more comfortable eating in your own bed and eating mom's cooking. But not here.
Jesus is rejected because he comes not to bask in the glory of old friends and neighbors reminiscing with him. He comes to preach his message and to show God's power and love. That is not what the home town people wanted to hear from him. They didn't want to be challenged they wanted to be seen as the reason for his success. He didn't act like they wanted so they rejected him.
Rejection is also the key concern that Jesus has he sends out the disciples. He wants them to travel light and not be burdened with too much expectation. When rejection happens don't let it stick to you, shake it off and move on.
I wonder if Jesus didn't give that advice to himself after Nazareth. Not everyone is going to get it. Don't let it stop you and keep you from God's purpose.
I think there is more here to ponder. Fortunately Sunday is still several days off. I invite your comments and reaction.