Scripture: Luke 10:1–16
Key verses: ( 1-11) After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. 2 He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. 3 Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. 4 Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. 5 Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house!’ 6 And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. 7 Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the laborer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house. 8 Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; 9 cure the sick who are there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But whenever you enter a town and they do not welcome you, go out into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off in protest against you. Yet know this: the kingdom of God has come near.’
Reflection: This should be the official passage for our virus time. Take nothing for the journey Jesus tells the disciples. Jesus called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. Sent out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick, they were told to just SHOW UP.
Often when we are the church, we brag about what we have to offer. A gym, a great sanctuary, beautiful art on the walls or a great nursery on Sunday morning. Guess what? None of that matters during virus days. We just have to show up for one another.
Take nothing for the journey, Jesus says and go on your way, curing the sick and sharing the good news.
When we were building the outreach center at MPPC, the youth walked the empty shell of the building. We didn’t know what would be in each room but we had plans for what might happen in each room. We shared as we walked the space where basketball teams would play, where we would sleep on CROSS weekend or lock-ins, where we would make Thanksgiving pies and where we would laugh. When we came to the room where we would have youth dinner, one youth shared that this might be where we share our deepest struggles and pray for each other. She shared her fears about a medical test that might change her life that week and we laid hands on her right there and prayed.
It had nothing to do with the building but everything to do with the relationships and being the body of Christ. Youth showed up for their friend that week. They took nothing with them as they checked in and walked with her on that journey of waiting. They showed up and they were the church.
Wherever you are this week. Be the church. Show up for each other.
Prayer: God, give us courage to offer love, words of grace, a few moments or whatever is needed as we seek to be the body of Christ in these days. Amen.
Author: Michelle Thomas-Bush
[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].