Thursday, July 2, 2015
The twelve were sent out by Jesus to do the work of ministry. And they were to bring nothing on the journey except a staff. Why so little? They would need to depend on the hospitality of others to get their work done. There would be mutuality, interdependence and even vulnerability to such an approach. We can imagine what that going forth must have felt like. Most of us would prefer a little more control and comfort. Hospitality seems like a good idea when we are the ones extending it but to trust in the hospitality of others puts us in an entirely different position.
But there had to be much wisdom in the way Jesus sent out the twelve. Perhaps the best kind of service is grounded in the willingness to receive from others. In this way our work is not simply our own. We realize that love comes to us so we may share it. Genuine love is greater than our mere determination, initiative, best efforts and projects.
To travel lightly in this world is to make room for relationships and community, wonder and gratitude. It’s worth pondering. What does it mean for us individually and as a congregation to follow in such a way? Does the gospel daily move to the forefront so our true priorities can shine forth in our hearts and lives?
The twelve must have felt both the gift and the responsibility that went with being sent. To go forth with a message of hope and healing would not be easy but clearly they were not going alone. The One who sent them would be the One to sustain them, lift them up and love them. And so it is with us, we are the church together called into service, and always held in the love of Jesus.
God of the covenant, in our baptism you call us to proclaim the coming of your kingdom. Give us the courage you gave the apostles, that we may faithfully witness to your love and peace in every circumstance of life, in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. - ELW