Lent 6 (2012)–Packing Light for Spiritual Journeys

After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road. “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you. Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house. “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you.’ But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near.’ I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town. “Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths. “He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.” (Luke 10:1-16)

Not exactly Mapquest.  “Go!” He says.

No directions; no specific destination.  Not exactly the Travelocity Gnome or Expedia’s package deal as a “Major Wow Factor,” either.  No booking advance accommodations or even packing a bag.  Given how many times I’ve helped to pack my husband’s suitcase for a business trip and how much advance planning goes into it all, Jesus’ instructions seem kind of sparse.

Worse, He interjects bits of bad news along the way.  You’re being sent out like lambs among wolves.
Hey, don’t wolves eat defenseless lambs?

In some cases, you’ll pronounce peace upon a house, but it will return to you like a boomerang or a pair of bedroom slippers at 90 mph.  And if a whole town doesn’t welcome you, you’re going to pronounce future judgment upon it.

Yup, that’s the way to make friends.

What, you say?  Depending on a map or advance preparation isn’t the point?  Being friendly with the world isn’t the point?  What is the point? 

The point is: Sharing the good news of Jesus Christ is what you do when Jesus tells you, “Go!”  Disciples are obedient.  Fear of opposition isn’t an excuse.  Pack light for the spiritual journey.

It’s mission critical for the follower of Jesus Christ to “Trust and Obey”—just like the song says.  In a culture where we’d rather avoid confrontation, Jesus sends us to speak up.  In a world where we’d rather live the way my father–an electrical engineer– cheered (“Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance”), Jesus calls us to depend on God moment-by-moment, not rely on our own abilities.  In a generation striving for acceptance and self-esteem, Jesus reminds us that ones who are called; ones who are sent; ones with a mission from Jesus will be treated the way that Jesus was treated.  A servant is not above his Master.

Listen to Jesus.  Expect Opposition. Gaze Beyond the Hills.

Luke 10: 16 “He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”

So, how are you doing with your commission to “Go!”–or your calling to share the good news with a hostile world?

For further meditation:
Matthew 10:16-34

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on February 28, 2012

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