Scripture: Mark 6:1-13
Key verses: (8-10) He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics. He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place.”
Reflection: Jesus sent the disciples out to minister in the world and he gave them instructions for the journey. They were to pack light, really light (only a staff – no food, no bag, no money). I wonder how long I would have lasted on the journey. I might have turned away before we even started. No clean clothes? No way to buy what I might need? No provisions? Not even a pack of crackers?
Those disciples were sent out with a sense of vulnerability and dependence. They didn’t have what they needed to survive. They had to depend on the hospitality of strangers who would give them shelter and food. They likely were humbled, forced to ask for help along the way. They likely prayed for safety and for basic necessities. What a far cry this is from my travels! I take everything I need and then some.
Yet the times when I have been forced to seek help, I have been blessed. Kind people have given me directions when I was lost (and before GPS was on my phone!). Someone loaned me $1.45 when I only had cash and didn’t have enough at the cash register. A gruff older man helped me change a tire once. I left grateful.
Jesus also told the disciples, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place.” How many times have I been somewhere physically but not truly been present? Jesus called the disciples to be fully present, not just physically but also emotionally and spiritually, until it was time to move. In our culture, the phone is a constant temptation to remove my presence from the people
Be vulnerable enough to receive blessings. And be present in those moments to know that God is there.
Prayer: Remind me, O Lord, that my life depends on you. No matter how much I am tempted, remind me that I am not self-sufficient. Teach me to trust in you and to be present with those I meet. Amen.
Author: Millie Snyder
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].