My sermon at noon today is about Acceptance and Rejection. The desire to be accepted and our fear at rejection are primal, basic emotions of life. There will be times over the course of a life when no matter what you do, no matter how many meals you fix, no matter how well your dress or suit fits, no matter the perfection of your hair, the suave of your shoes, deep down inside we wonder, am I acceptable? Do I look good enough? Am I smart enough? Am I witty enough? When we experience rejection we sometimes are knocked off of our feet in surprise. What did I do to deserve this? Why did this person reject me? Why did they choose someone instead of me? Was I so out of place, out of step, out of rhyme and out of time that they did not choose me? Or, was it something else? Was I rejected not because there was anything wrong with me, but because they knew me too well? Sometimes familiarity will breed contempt.
Long before he was crucified on a cross, Jesus first experienced rejection at the synagogue in his home village of Nazareth. The rejection he received was not because he said or did anything wrong. People rejected him because they knew his mother, father, brothers and sisters. They simply could not believe that the fellow they knew once as “Little Jesus” had grown into his manhood and now spoke with the voice and authority of God. They knew he was good. They knew he was smart, but they could not get over the fact that he had grown up and made more sense than anyone they had ever met.
So, they rejected him. They ridiculed him because of his family. In the Matthew version we are told that Jesus was not able to do much in Nazareth because of their unbelief. In the Luke version, he gets run out of town in an attempted murder and Jesus, being Jesus, “Passed through the midst of them.”
Matthew 13: 54 He came to his hometown and began to teach the people in their synagogue, so that they were astounded and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these deeds of power? 55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? 56 And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all this?” 57 And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor except in their own country and in their own house.” 58 And he did not do many deeds of power there, because of their unbelief. 
If you are available at noon EST and in the Detroit, Michigan USA area, I invite you to stop by and worship with me. The service will be live streamed, so you can watch it live wherever you are around the world via Ustream (search for Plymouth United Church of Christ Detroit). The service can also be viewed at www.puccdetroit.org or on Facebook at Plymouth United Church of Christ Detroit
Prayer Request: May the Lord bless you with acceptance and the strength to overcome any rejection
Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III
Pastor and Senior Minister, Plymouth United Church of Christ
600 E. Warren Ave. Detroit, Michigan 48201
Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/
 The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Mt 13:54–58). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.