We were sitting around a battered picnic table, sharing pizza and earnest conversation. In a few short weeks, we’d be college graduates—and we’d be heading off to far-flung corners to save the world.
(Or so we thought.)
Our wise professor squeezed in among us, opened her notebook, paused, then closed it again. She looked up, her face serious as stone.
"You know this work will not make your families happy.”
We swallowed, cautiously. We were embarking on a year of volunteer service. We were achievers and pleasers and do-gooders. We wanted to make people happy.
“The work you are about to do will be good work. Hard work. Frustrating work. Holy work. But what you learn and how you change may not please your parents. You might lose friends.”
We stared at our greasy paper plates, pizza growing cold.
“You will find God in the unlikeliest places. That will shake up everything you know.”
Jesus opens the scroll, reads the truth, rolls it up, and sits down. At first His neighbors speak highly of Him and praise His words. Then they start asking questions, and He gives hard answers.
This is the beginning of His public ministry, and already they want to kill Him.
As you do the work of God's justice wherever you find yourself, proclaiming truth about poverty, oppression, and freedom—everything Jesus spoke about in Nazareth—people may rise up in fury. They may drive you out of places where you used to belong.
But since you follow the One Who passed safely through the crowd ready to kill Him, you are walking in the right footsteps. Keep going.
Trust that the Spirit of the Lord is upon you, too. What is right is not always pretty, pleasing, or popular. But God’s truth brings deeper joy, clearer sight, and lasting freedom.
Jesus will stand beside you when you proclaim truth. He will lead you through the angry crowds.
Even when you are not accepted, you will never be alone.