by Pastor Sarah Breckenridge, Executive Pastor
“If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.” ~ Mark 6:11
Besides being a musical hit by Taylor Swift, “Shake It Off” is a wonderful paraphrase of the words of Jesus in this weekend’s Gospel text. As Jesus is sending his disciples off two-by-two, he is preparing them for both the good and bad of what is to come.
Many people will rejoice at the deeds of power the disciples show, when they bring a healing love that casts out demons and cures many. Others will flat-out reject the disciples, their words, and their deeds, and just as we hate rejection, so will they.
So Jesus gives them wise advice: “Shake it off.” They are words that perhaps some of us need to hear today?
If you are like me, you take rejection personally and feel you have to prove your worth, your message, how right you are. However, we need to just “shake it off.” Jesus makes it clear that when we are not made to feel welcome or like we belong, we should shake it off. When others refuse to hear us and the message we are desperately trying to convey — shake it off!
It is fascinating that when the disciples face rejection, Jesus does not command them to try harder or to never give up! Nope — shake it off. Jesus does not want them to battle with people nor sit there and take it. You do not need to prove anything. Move along.
Jesus has something better in store, assuring us, “I’ve got this. My message of love and new life is for you, even if those around you cannot accept it. It is still yours and it is still theirs…that’s grace.”
So today I challenge you to physically and mentally shake it off, all that makes you feel less than who God created you to be. And I invite you to worship this weekend, so you can experience the message of welcome, love, and new life awaiting you. It’s a promise that cannot be shaken off!