“A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house. Probably because of all those times he was caught cow-tipping.” (Mark 6:4, 21st Century Gen X version)
In January, I preached my first wildly successful sermon to a throng of twenty in the rugged mountain town of Idaho Springs. I’d never laid eyes on any of the parishioners; they’d never seen me. But they took me under their wing and the day went off without a hitch. I get a warm, fuzzy feeling every time I think of it.
This Sunday, I’m preaching for the first time at my home church. Several family members and friends will also be attending. Therefore, this has the potential of being a whole different ballgame.
Jesus said, “A prophet is despised in his own land.” I interpret this to mean that you can’t reasonably expect people to take your message about the kingdom of heaven all that seriously when they have seen you trim your toenails in the living room, laugh hysterically at every fart joke you ever heard, and regularly scrutinize the scandal sheets for a glimpse of Colin Firth without his shirt on.* The people who remember the day you agonized over penning the perfect fan letter to Ricky Schroeder are not going to reflect somberly on your insights about the incarnation. The people who watched you inelegantly navigate the waters of post-divorce dating are probably going to react with skepticism when you talk about fulfillment in the body of Christ. And the people who applauded the alternative “ecumenical” lyrics you wrote to John Rutter’s “I Believe in Springtime” (repurposed as “I Believe in Zombies”) aren’t going to give a second’s thought to how much time and care you spent selecting thematically integrated hymns this worship service.
Well, at least I know what I’m up against this Sunday. Maybe I should work a fart joke in, just so everyone knows I’m not getting above myself.
* It’s been almost a year since I started this blog and I finally got a Bridget Jones reference in. She shoots, she scores! Oof…fell off.
© Marian the Seminarian, 2012