Mark 6:1-3 (NRSV)
He left that place and came to his home town, and his disciples followed him. On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, 'Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?' And they took offence at him.
"A carpenter - that kid of Mary's! Who does he think he is? Why, we've known him since he was knee-high, picked him up when he fell down, praised him as he learned his trade, and, yes, scolded him once or twice. He used to be a stable member of this community, but now all of a sudden he thinks he's special, thinks he can teach us!"
Heretical thoughts to us today, but how could they understand? There'd been no one like Jesus before. We know now who he was, where his power came from; but it's no wonder they were skeptical.
How about us? What if we claimed all our power, reached out with all our love, turned our world inside out? What would people think? More importantly, what could we accomplish?
Maybe we couldn't heal the lame, bring sight to the blind. But maybe, just maybe, our love could overcome prejudice, fear, and hostility. Just imagine what we could do standing side-by-side with Jesus!
Holy God, silence the skeptic in me. Give me strength and courage - and lots of faith! Amen.