When your world gets Rocked
What we read in the Gospel today is the first preaching engagement of Jesus in his home town. He had been in the surrounding towns and had met with a pretty good reception as he began his public ministry, but this particular venue was going to be a test. This was the home town boy coming back to his roots.
The people were waiting expectantly to see what he was going to say and it seemed to start out pretty good; Luke even says that they were amazed at Jesus. But then something changes. The scene goes from a nice time, listening to Jesus preach in the synagogue to an angry mob scene on a hillside as the crowd prepares to toss him off a cliff. It seems nobody was quite sure how to take this new Jesus. The categories that they had for understanding him had all been shaken up with this small town boy turned messiah.
When I think of being shaken up the image that comes to my mind is one of those snow globes that you buy when you’re on vacation. It sits on your dresser and all the white snow lies neatly on the bottom. Then your little boy or your granddaughter comes along and gives it a good shake. For a while it’s chaos; mass confusion in that little globe with snow flying everywhere.
It’s like that for us too when we hear something new especially if it’s asking big changes of us. We’re not sure what to make of it. We can become angered by the emotions we feel. Or we can become paralyzed, not knowing what to do next. The people that were listening to Jesus got so upset they wanted to kill him.
Naaman experienced this. Naaman was a great commander; he was used to people doing his bidding. When he discovered that he had an incurable disease his world was rocked upside down. From warrior to invalid Naaman’s life was now bound up in the promise of a little Jewish girl and an old prophet; completely out of his control.
After that little snow globe sits for awhile things start to settle down again and pretty soon all is calm but the snow never falls back the same way it was. People who have been shaken up also have a chance to change. When we get all rearranged we can come back together in new and exciting ways.
Naaman had to trust those outside of his normal circles and in doing so he received the healing that he longed for. For those who struggled with Jesus’ new identity, some of them were able to come to understand him and they even followed him. But for others the task was too great, it was too hard to change.
When your life’s ship gets tossed who do you cling to?
Break out of your rut. Do something outside of your comfort zone.