I was at a family reunion last summer, talking to one of my many cousins, when an aunt joined the conversation with questions about our adult lives (having not spent much time with us since we were children). Hearing that I am now serving as a pastor she remarked, “that’s wonderful – and to think, you were such a brat as a child!”
The people of Nazareth had similar difficulty imagining how the Jesus they’d known as a child was now speaking with such authority in their midst. “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?”
It is difficult to allow the ordinary voices that surround us to speak with the extraordinary power of God. Yet the scriptures for this Sunday all remind us that God has a prophetic word to speak to the nations, to the church, and even to each one of us. When it comes it sounds jarring to the ear, not what we have come to expect, irritating – not surprising, since it is also the voice that asks us to alter course and set our sights on the paths down which God would take us.