Sermons 2006
"Jesus and Rejection", Proper 9B, 9 July 2006, Mark 6:1-6

Home | "Light and Darkness", Christmas 2C, 31 December 2006, John 1:1-18 | Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 2006 | "What then shall we do?", Advent 3C , 17 December 2006, Luke 3:7-18 | "Luke's Gospel", Advent 1C, 3 Dec 2006, Luke 21:25-31 | Which Jesus? Proper 29B 2006, 26 November 2006, John 18:33-37 | Apocalypticism and Fundamentalism, Proper 28B, 19 Nov 2006, Daniel12; Mark 13:14-23 | "The Widow's Mite: All and Everything", Proper 27B, 12 November 2006, Mark 12:38-44 | "The Commandments to love God, Neighbor, One Another" Proper 26B, 5 November 2006, Mark 12:28-34 | "Sight -- and Seeing" Proper 25B, 29 October 2006, Mark 10:46-52 | "Baptism: Overwhelming Washing", Proper 24B, 22 October 2006 Mark 10:35-45 | "God's Transforming Love", Proper 23B, 15 October 2006, Mark 10:17-31 | "Divorce", Proper 22B, 8 February 2006, Mark 10: 2-9 | "Hard Sayings and Sharp Words", Proper 21B, 1 October 2006, Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48 | "First or Last?" Proper 20B, 24 September 2006, Mark 9:30-37 | "Unintended Consequences", Proper 19B, 17 September 2006, Mark 8:27-38 | "Ephphatha! Open up!" Proper 18B, 10 September 2006, Mark 7:31-37 | "Rituals", Proper 17B, 3 September 2006, Deuteronomy 4:1-9; Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23 | "Choices." Proper 16B, 30 August 2006, Joshua 24:1-2a, 14-25; John 6:60-69 | "Come to the Table." Proper 15B, 20 August 2006, John 6:53-59 | "Do not be afraid." Proper 12B, 30 July 2006, Mark6:45-52 | "General Convention and Jesus' Compassion", Proper 11B, 23 July 2006, Mark 6: 30-44 | "Basics for the Journey", Proper 10B, 16 July 2006, Mark 6:7-13 | "Jesus and Rejection", Proper 9B, 9 July 2006, Mark 6:1-6 | "Trust, Faith, and Belief" Proper 8B, 2 July 2006, Mark 5:22-43 | "Storms, Fear, and Faith" Proper 7B, 25 June 2006, Mark 4:35-41 | Mighty things from Small, Proper 6B, 18 June 2006, Mark 4:26-34 | Trinity, Pentecost 1, 11 June 2006, Exodus 3:1-6; John 3:1-16 | The King Jesus Fire-Baptized Holy Spirit Church, Pentecost , 4 June, Acts 2:1-11; Jn 20:19-23 | "That they may be one" General Convention 2006, Easter 7B 28 May 2006, John 5:9-15 | "Friends, friendship, and love" Easter 6B, 21 May 2006, John 15:9-17 | Mother's Day, two mothers' love!" Easter 5B, 14 April 2006, John 14:15-21 | "Interesting, this Good Shepherd!" Easter 4B, 7 May 2006, John 10:11-16 | "How do you prove you are alive?", Easter 3B, 30 April 2006, Luke 24:36b-48 | "Do you believe because...." Easter 2B, 23 April 2006, John 20:19-31 | "He goes before you to Galilee...." Easter B 2006, 16 April, Mark 16:1-8 | "Journey into darkness", Palm Sunday B, 9 April 2006. Mark 11:1-11, 14:32-15:47 | "Sir, we would see Jesus!" Lent 5B, 2 April 2006, John 12:20-33 | "Miracles and Faith, Ordinary and Not", Lent 4B 2006, 26 March 2006, John 6:4-15 | "Rage, Rampage, and Outrage", Lent 3B, 19 March 2006, John 2: 13-22 | "Images of the Cross", Lent 2B, 12 March 2006, Mark 8:31-38 | "Baptism, Temptation, Redemption," Lent 1B, 5 March 2005, Mark 1:9-13 | Ash Wednesday , 1 March 2006, Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 | ""Nanny McPhee' and transfiguration", Epiphany Last B, Mark 9:2-9 | "Jesus, leprosy, and the law of Moses", Epiphany 6B, 12 February 2006, Mark 1:40-45 | "Healing, wholeness, forgiveness, and love", Epiphany 5B, 5 February 2006, Mark 1:29-39 | "Haints, Unclean spirits, and demons" Epiphany 4B, 22 January 2006, Mark 1:21-28 | Epiphany 3B, 22 January 2006, "God's Call -- and Our Response", Mark 1:14-20 | Epiphany 2B, 15 January 2006, "Call and Response", John 1:43-51 | Epiphany 1B, 8 January 2006, "The Baptism of our Lord -- and Ours", Mark 1:7-11 | The Holy Name, 1 January 2006, Luke 2: 15-21

Proper 9B 2006 Mark 6:1-6

“Then Jesus said to them, ‘Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.’”

Jesus spoke from the long line of experience of those who were prophets before his time on earth, and who, like him, were rejected.

Take Moses’ experience with the children of Israel in their travels through the wilderness: “The whole congregation of the Israelites set out from Elim; and Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had departed from the land of Egypt. 2The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. 3The Israelites said to them, ‘If only we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger….Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?’” (Exodus 16:1-3; 17:3)

And Joshua, the conqueror of Canaan: “The tribe of Joseph spoke to Joshua, saying, ‘Why have you given me but one lot and one portion as an inheritance, since we are a numerous people, whom all along the Lord has blessed?’ ….The hill country is not enough for us…” (Joshua 17:14,16)

Jeremiah: When Jeremiah came from Topheth, where the Lord had sent him to prophesy, he stood in the court of the Lord’s house and said to all the people: 15Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: I am now bringing upon this city and upon all its towns all the disaster that I have pronounced against it, because they have stiffened their necks, refusing to hear my words. Now the priest Pashhur son of Immer, who was chief officer in the house of the Lord, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things. 2Then Pashhur struck the prophet Jeremiah, and put him in the stocks that were in the upper Benjamin Gate of the house of the Lord. (Jeremiah 19:14-20:2)

The Lord spoke to Ezekiel and said: “As for you, mortal, your people who talk together about you by the walls, and at the doors of the houses, say to one another, each to a neighbour, ‘Come and hear what the word is that comes from the Lord.’ 31They come to you as people come, and they sit before you as my people, and they hear your words, but they will not obey them. … they hear what you say, but they will not do it. 33When this comes—and come it will!—then they shall know that a prophet has been among them. “ (Ezekiel 33:30-33)

Jesus said to them, ‘Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.’”

"You can't go home again." That was the title of a book Thomas Wolfe wrote. It was published in 1949, two years after his death in 1938. Thomas Wolfe grew up in a large, sprawling house at 48 Spruce Street in Asheville, NC. He wrote about his growing up years there in a novel which he called Look Homeward, Angel. So frank and realistic were his reminiscences that Look Homeward, Angel was banned from Asheville's public library for over seven years. And he himself could not go home again for many years. Today he is a favorite son, but for many years he was an embarrassment to many of the residents of that lovely, Southern city. (1)

Those who had known Him as a boy could not believe that He could be the Messiah. The story about Jesus’ rejection at the hands of His own townspeople gives us a disturbing reminder that it is perfectly possible to have something standing right there before you, and not recognize it or its importance.

Remember the often told story of the first casting session of Fred Astaire, and the comment written by the director at the time: “Can’t act; can’t sing; dances a little.” In 1902, the Atlantic Monthly’s poetry editor returned a batch of poems to a 28-year old poet with a bitter note: “Our magazine has no room for your vigorous verse.” The poet was Robert Frost. In 1905, the University of Bern flunked a Ph.D. dissertation because it was fanciful and irrelevant. The young Ph.D. student who received the bad news was Albert Einstein. In 1894, the rhetoric teacher at Harrow in England wrote on a 16-year old’s grade card: “A conspicuous lack of success.” The name on the top of the card: Winston Churchill. (2)

Rejection under any circumstances is a difficult human experience. Most of us have experienced rejection to one degree or another. Rejection evokes sharp emotions: anger, bitterness, disappointment. The consistent witness of the New Testament is that Jesus was rejected by his own people: first of all, his family; then his friends, then his own country.

Jesus’ own people included his own friends and relatives...people in his hometown - even his own family. At one point his own family tried to put him away as a deranged person. Some of us have experienced rejection by family members, perhaps even our whole family. This is the sort of rejection that hurts the most and wounds most deeply, this rejection by people we love.

Now his whole hometown rejects him for being only a carpenter. The English sentence, they took offense at him, is too weak. The Greek is “eskandalizonto”, they were scandalized by him. Scandalized because this lowly carpenter dared to teach them anything: “Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him?” (3)

And he was amazed at their unbelief. But then he continued on to other villages with his teaching.

We can reject Jesus in many ways, usually without even knowing it. But he continues to walk beside us, teaching us, loving us despite it.


1. adapted from King Duncan, “Rejected at Home”, eSermons for 9 July 2006
2. Parables, Aug. 1986 as related in Donald B. Strobe, “Only a Carpenter, eSermons for 16 July 2006
3. adapted from Donald B. Strobe, “Only a Carpenter, eSermons for 16 July 2006

Wicomico Parish Church
PO Box 70
Wicomico Church, Virginia 22579