It’s what we often say in English, at least in parts of the United States, when we hear or see or feel something that shocks us, or stuns us, or feels unbelievable, or out of place.
“What?” we say.
Then we may say or think, “Did I hear that right?” Or “Am I seeing what I think I’m seeing?” Or “This doesn’t feel right.”
It’s perhaps one of the first things we will say when we hear news that means we’re about to enter a period of transition. It’s what the pastor or deacon who gets that call from the district superintendent thinks when he or she sees the number on the screen, or hears the voice at the other end of the call. It’s what the staff-parish chair thinks when the district superintendent notifies her about the date and time for the take-in. It’s what a lot of people may think when news gets out that their pastor or deacon won’t be there after June or maybe sooner.
It’s what loyal employees think when word comes down that their entire division is shutting down and their jobs are gone. It’s what families of members of the military, armed forces, or police, or firefighters think when people dressed in uniform appear at their door with news to share. It’s what parents think when they get a call or email from their child’s college saying their child is failing or in trouble and it’s time to take them home. It’s what we think when something doesn’t feel right—there’s pain, or memory loss, or a sudden lack of coordination—so we go to the doctor for tests. And it may be what we think when the test results are in and the diagnosis comes.
Or, perhaps less dramatically, it’s what we say when we’re asleep, and someone awakens us unexpectedly.
Epistle: 2 Corinthians 4:5 – 12
Gospel Lesson: Mark 2:2 – 3:6
Old Testament: 1 Samuel 3:1 – 20