Our preacher this month is Seth Horrell, with a message called, The Challenge, from Luke 4:21-30.
In the Lion King, there is a scene where Mufasa and Simba are looking over the kingdom, and every place that the light touches is our kingdom. Simba asks about that dark, shadowy place that is far off, and he is told that he is to never go there. It is beyond our borders.
We often define our goodness in opposition to the badness of others. I am brighter by pointing out the shadows in other people not like me.
The crowd wanted Jesus to show off his stuff, but instead he tells two stories, where the hero and rescued person in not one of us, but foreigners. Naaman was from one of those shadowy places called Syria. The people quickly become angry at Jesus, not for the Messiah stuff, but over God working in other people besides themselves.
The Jews were upset at Jesus because God was working in the lives of the wrong people. Our God is rescuing the wrong people. Can God even work with those people?
Yet God has bigger plans, ideas, borders, and vision than the crowd. The goal in Christianity is not for people to look like us, but for them to look like Jesus. We have a choice, to look like our grandparents, or look like Jesus. To look like our culture or look like Jesus, to look at our music preferences or look like Jesus.
We must get over our fear of others. We often ask, that if God is with those other people, is he really with us? Also, the kingdom in not a competition.