Faith Daily | 22 September 2021
PRAYER of the DAY - PENTECOST APBA p583
whose Son Jesus Christ has taught us
that what we do for the least of our brothers and sisters
we do also for him:
give us the will to be the servant of others
as he was the servant of all,
who gave up his life and died for us,
and yet lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
GOSPEL for the Day: Luke 9: 1-6
Then Jesus called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, 2and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal.
3He said to them, ‘Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money—not even an extra tunic. 4Whatever house you enter, stay there, and leave from there.
5Wherever they do not welcome you, as you are leaving that town shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.’
6They departed and went through the villages, bringing the good news and curing diseases everywhere.
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Graeme Curnow
Here (it seems to me) Jesus begins training His disciples for their later ministry to the world, after He has gone. Noting, that the group includes Judas Iscariot who later betrayed him.
At this stage in Jesus' ministry the disciples were still a "work in progress" but never-the-less He sends them out to learn, to build the foundation for their Apostleship and to prepare them for what was to come. It is a tough assignment!
Jesus sets ground rules that I believe are relevant to how the Church goes about missioning to people today.
1. The disciples receive power and authority from Jesus. They are His representatives and bear His name as they go around ministering in extraordinary ways that require radical dependence on God. I'm sure we also find this level of dependence challenging; but can we create our own mindset that we are also co-workers of Jesus?
2. They are sent out into the field in pairs. Each disciple has a partner and collaborator because the mission they are to accomplish is not easy. Each church worker needs support and a companion.
3. The Twelve go out with only the minimum of personal items and provisions. Taking no bread or money, they will be forced to rely on God's providence plus the hospitality and good will of the people they connect with. Perhaps we plan and prepare so much that we overshadow reliance on God alone?
4. At the places the disciples were unwelcome, or not listened to, they were to "shake the dust off your feet" as a testimony against the folk there. I have read that according to Jewish tradition, when a Jew returned from a foreign land they were to "shake off the dust" so as not to add gentile soil onto Jewish land. By shaking the dust from the disciples sandals those people that rejected Jesus' message were left behind. On the face of it, this instruction seems to contradict Jesus' teaching in the parable of the vineyard i.e.: that it is never too late to enter God's Kingdom. (Matt 20.v 1-16) Obviously I need to give that more contemplation.
The disciples successfully completed their assignment and later (in V. 10) we learn that they were able to relate to Jesus what they had achieved.
FINAL PRAYER: “Call to Discipleship” APBA p210
Christ, whose insistent call
Disturbs our settled lives:
give us discernment to hear your word,
grace to relinquish our tasks,
and courage to follow empty-handed
wherever you may lead,
so that the voice of your gospel
may reach to the ends of the earth.