Luke 9:1-6 (CEV)
1Jesus called together his twelve apostles and gave them complete power over all demons and diseases. 2 Then he sent them to tell about God’s kingdom and to heal the sick. 3 He told them, “Don’t take anything with you! Don’t take a walking stick or a traveling bag or food or money or even a change of clothes. 4 When you are welcomed into a home, stay there until you leave that town. 5 If people won’t welcome you, leave the town and shake the dust from your feet as a warning to them.”
6 The apostles left and went from village to village, telling the good news and healing people everywhere.
Ready Or Not
I remember the first birth I attended after I finished my doula training. I remember how excited I was to try to put into practice what I had learned. And I remember how terrified I was that I wouldn’t know what I needed to know – that maybe I wouldn’t be able to do what I had been hired to do.
And I remember the first time I sent a student doula that I had trained out to a birth. I remember how much I thought she knew, the places where I was worried she wasn’t quite ready, the uncertainties of birth that we couldn’t prepare for entirely, and the ideas I had given her to start with if things became challenging.
And as scary as it can be, the thought process with this kind of learning is pretty simple: you can only hold so much information in your head theoretically at a time, then you need to go off and try it out in the real world. Once you do that, you’ll rapidly realize where the holes are in what you’ve learned, and you’ll start asking the right next questions, able to see the importance of that line the teacher uses on a regular basis or able to maintain enough interest to actually read through the textbook and remember what you read.
I look at this passage and think about how little the disciples have learned about Jesus so far – how little it seems we’ve covered in the story – and part of me is shocked at Jesus’ audacity in sending the disciples out already. (The other part of me is shocked at the fact that they’re able to do the healing work that they do!)
But I think it’s important for us that Jesus sent the disciples out on their first work placement when they hadn’t figured everything out yet.
Nathan talked yesterday morning about us as a church choosing the theme of ‘love’ this year, and working to live more and more fully into Jesus’ calling and command for us to love one another, and I think this story challenges us, regardless of where we’re at on our Jesus-following journey, to be willing to risk answering God’s call to become part of telling people the good news of the Kingdom.
I also think this story challenges us, regardless of where those who are following us into the Kingdom-story are at on their Jesus-following journey, to be willing to encourage them to take some risks as well, as they begin to hear the call of God to become part of telling people the good news of the Kingdom.
- Have you been hearing God calling you to live into his Kingdom story recently?
- What has he been calling you to do?
- What is holding you back?
- What encouragement can you take from today’s passage?
- How could you step out in faith to respond to God’s call?